Friday, June 17, 2005
Ultra Violent Skin Block
Reader Xavier emails:
"Good evening Tian! I love browsing through your site, and seeing you agree to translate non-tattoo, I'd like to know the significance (if relevant) of this one.
It's a t-shirt I have, and love. When people ask me about the meaning, I often answer that it means "please kick me" or "Asian people are lame" or "very small penis", or anything silly for that matter.
I'd like to be able to answer them correctly for once. The writing itself, "ultra violent skin block", seems to belong to Diesel clothing line, but I could find the same kanji letters while browsing the Web (and didn't think of checking if my shirt is a Diesel, meh).
Could you let me know if there's anything interesting written on this ? Thank you."
I am not sure if this shirt should be considered as Engrish or Hanzi Smatter because it has characteristics for both.
The phrase 大和魂 means "[Big] Japan Spirit" or equivalent. 大和 as a single word is "Yamato", the old word for "Japan". 大和魂 itself is a phrased used to refer to the Japanese nationalistic spirit and pride (thanks to Rikoshi). During World War II, Japanese Imperial government used it and similar theme phrases as propaganda slogans to unite the Japanese.
The apparel company Diesel does sell a line of shirts that are called "Ultra Violent Skin Block".
Update: Shirt has been featured in Engrish.com
An email from Engrish saying a similar version of the shirt "Yamato Damashii" shown above has already been featured in Engrish.com.