Japan Today

Tourist center asks travelers to not make a mess in restroom

By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

While Japan’s highest mountain itself is the primary attraction, it’s not the only thing to see in the Mt. Fuji area. There’s also the Fuji Five Lakes, which would be beautiful enough to warrant a visit even if they didn’t have the famed peak serving as a dramatic backdrop.

But while travelers are happy to see the mountain and lakes alike, one thing none of them look forward to is a puddle of piss on the men’s room floor of a local visitor’s center. That’s why one facility has signs asking visitors to mind their aim when using the urinals, but while the Japanese text is a politely worded reminder, the English version seems to be implying that the reader’s penis really isn’t so impressive.

Out of the five lakes, Lake Yamanaka is the largest, and also at the highest elevation. Drawing the lion’s share of Fuji Five Lakes tourist, though, means it also has the potential to receive the largest volume of unwanted yellow puddles. So when Japanese Twitter user @HBonsai stopped by the lake’s visitor center and headed into the restroom, he saw signs attached to the wall directly in front of the urinals.

Accompanied by a picture of a uniformed tourist guide bowing respectfully, the Japanese text reads "Itsumo kirei ni tsukatte itadaki, arigatou gozaimasu," which translates as “Thank you for very much for always using the restroom in a clean manner.” But while the sentence is perfectly fine in Japanese, it sounds just a bit wordy in English. Maybe that’s why instead of a straight translation, the visitor center decided on an alternate but equivalent message for English-reading tourists.

“Please Stand Closer. Your TOMAHAWK is not so long as you wish.”

That’s a huge gap in tone between the messages being given to domestic and Western travelers, or really any travelers more proficient in English than Japanese. It’s especially jarring since it doesn’t even say “as long as you think,” which would at least be diplomatic enough to allow for the possibility that the reader is satisfied with his length, despite it being less than he himself perceives. Nope, it flat-out says that you must be somewhat disappointed with the size of your manhood.

It also implies that your junk has a…unique shape, if your first mental image of “tomahawk” is the ax and not the missile.

In the visitor center’s defense, it turns out that this exact phrase has been floating around and being used in bathroom stalls for a number of years.

As a matter of fact, Googling the phrase yields several examples with the exact same unorthodox capitalization as in the example @HBonsai found (photo below right).

In light of that, it seems more likely that the Lake Yamanaka visitor center simply copied a sign it had seen somewhere else without fully understanding the implications of the English, and that’s it’s not purposefully trying to pick a fight with or insult travelers using the urinal. Still, a slightly kinder-sounding rewrite might be in order.

Source: Twitter/@HBonsai

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- UNESCO declares Mt. Fuji a World Heritage site, we celebrate with unique Fuji-related gifts! -- The top 5 places to see the sun set in Japan -- Japan’s stunning light displays replace blossoms with light bulbs for winter beauty

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'scuse me..... that's not a tomahawk, it's an AXE.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

they should at least check the sentence for mistakes before plastering it...

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Haha, this is so typical. Why didn't they just use a small cartoon, that would eliminate the need for translation, given the bad record of English language signs in Japan.

I mean, most Japanese urinals hang so low I can't even step closer otherwise I would not even be able to hit the right area. Also with them having the drain on the floor the splash is amazing. They should take some European urinals as an example, then they wouldn't need the signs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Tomahawk" is probably a mistranslation of "chopper".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think maybe the translation is an interpretation. The literal words are .....itsu mo kirei ni tsukatte chouki arigato gozaiimasu ....translates roughly to "always be clean when using from a long distance thank you very much, or something along those lines. From my experience we men (excluding me of course) in western countries can be pretty bad and most of us think it is longer than it really is much to the discomfort of those who follow.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe 'Tomahawk' is a new slang for you know what in Japanese. So when they try to translate it into English this happens. By the way if you google 'engrish japanese signs' you can find more examples. Also this does not only happen in Japan. Since I can read Chinese I have seen really funny examples from China.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Our aim is to keep this facility clean and pleasant. Your aim helps.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The literal words are .....itsu mo kirei ni tsukatte chouki arigato gozaiimasu

'Itadaki' not 'chouki'.

translates roughly to "always be clean when using from a long distance thank you very much,

No, it doesn't say anything about a long distance.

'itsumo' => always 'kirei ni tsukatte itadaki' => using cleanly 'arigato gozaimasu' => thank you

Thank you for always using cleanly.

I think you may have somehow mistaken 頂 for 長 since the latter can be read 'chou' and means 'long', and your transliteration uses 'chou' and you speak of 'long' in your translation.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And from South Park I was given the impression that Japanese thought "Americans so big".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It would seem someone had an axe to grind over the yellow puddles in rest rooms?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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