From Publishers Weekly Skating close to insult by mocking the English used by some Japanese advertisers and product designers, Caires takes care to show fascination, not derision, in his explanation of why he's attracted to Japanese-created English phrases. "Somehow, oddball truths seem to emerge," he writes. "Irony, existentialism, and dark humor appear where only fun-loving phraseology had been intended."
As he's done with the Web site Engrish.com, Caires collects an array of examples that emphasize his belief that there is profundity, even if it's accidental, in the way English words are used by Japanese designers. He includes clothing items, like a baby bib with "Nice Lovers" surrounded by cherries, and accessories, such as the purse embossed with "Time resolves nothing." Rather than add commentary to each item, Caires presents only a brief introduction and lets each image "speak" for itself. Usually shot closeup, the photographs are a parade of cute icons, bubbly fonts and non sequiturs like "Bravo!" or "Dust and dreams." The phrases are often amusing, like the pad claiming, "This is the most comfortable notebook you have ever run into," and some do have the existential tint Caires speaks of: "I am always full of appetite," notes a squirrel discussing walnuts. "Then, it is fine." (Dec.)
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Product Description Welcome to the world of Engrish-an alternate- reality version of the English language, which finds its greatest expression in Japanese advertising and product design. Based on the popular website Engrish.com, The Joys of Engrish is a full-color parade of images that highlight the most outrageous and riotous-yet oddly insightful-misuses of English.
Compiler Steve Caires created Engrish.com, which showcases the finest examples of the art, and has now become one of the most popular entertainment sites on the Web. What started out with a cult following is now a worldwide phenomenon generating Web traffic of five to six million visitors a year (and rising), plus a hugely successful line of merchandise.
As an Engrishman himself might say of the book, "Please make sure to enjoy your pleasant with vigor!"
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Tarcher (December 29, 2005)
(Photo above) Red hot springs at Beppu Onsen area in Kyushu. M. Chiba