100 Japanese Things

In Which 100 Japanese Things Shall Be Revealed, So That You May Learn Much Japanese From Them

The Japanese Sign Project Begins, PLUS: Thing #11: The Rusty Crosswalk Buttons July 8, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Saleem @ 8:26 am
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Oh, we’ll still be bringing you THINGS. But we’re also going to be bringing you signs. Starting immediately.

Canes and Rust Mean Age and Flavor

If you’re in Japan, you can play along. See a Japanese sign that you don’t understand? Take a pic and e-mail (or keitai-mail) it over to e-mail address to mail signs to (type it just like that and you’ll save me the trouble of filtering it. Pop it on in your keitai now, you never know when you’ll need it.)

Better yet, just pop your sign up on flickr and mail me a link to it.

THEN: Me and/or the Japanese dudes in my office will post it here and write a quick explanation like so:


( 横断:おうだん

歩行者:ほこうしゃ )

( Crosswalkers: Please push the button. )

( 不自由な 方: ふじゆうな かた)

( 押ボタン: おし ボタン )

(Handicapped people’s button [this is])

NOTE: The translations will be quick and rough, just enough to get you able to understand the sign, and, more importantly, get you the kanji/ reading so you can look it up yourself if so inclined.

AND: As always, I make no claims to be some kind of kanji-supergod or anything like that. I’m far, far, far, from it.

BUT I work in an office full of Japanese folks, and they are all kanji-supergods and would find it fun to check and make sure that their handy foreign pal is reading the signs right/answer questions about obscure signs folks find.


WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? I’m in Japan, and I like putting things on the internet that aren’t already on the internet.

PLUS: It’ll help me with kanji/actual Japanese signage.

PLUS: It might help you with kanji/actual Japanese signage.

PLUS: If you don’t live in Japan, this is some real stuff that you can study before you get here.

PLUS: If you’re an SRSer (or use any computer based flash card program), you can just drop the images into your flash card program. More fun than typing sentences, right?

PLUS: It gives me an excuse to pay more attention to all the signsI usually just ignore while walking around my town.

Send me any suggestions that you have. And, of course, signs.

BONUS POINTS FOR: Funny/ weird ones.

…and last of all, a SHOUT OUT: To Learn Japanese Through Advertisements. They focus on print ads, and do a great job of transcribing/explaining. Harvey seems to have the project on hiatus, but lots of good stuff there.

I’m afraid we won’t be explaining all the grammar like they do (props to them for doing it, though). Our strategy is more throw some Japanese at you and run away as fast as we can.


One Response to “The Japanese Sign Project Begins, PLUS: Thing #11: The Rusty Crosswalk Buttons”

  1. I am happy that I stumbled on your site. Adding you to my feed reader right now.

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