It’s already a well-known fact that terrible, nonsensical English (or Engrish, as the phenomenon is known) is found everywhere in Japan. For the most part, Engrish happens because many people just like the look that English print gives to their outfit and accessories, and really don’t give a second thought as to what it means.

But those from western countries are really not much better, choosing clothes or tattoos with kanji characters simply because they look cool, without really giving thought to what the characters themselves might mean. This unfortunately ends with poor souls who forever have the word “kitchen” inked on their arm, or a t-shirt that proudly proclaims the wearer is a beautiful fish.

Now, another western brand is stepping up to add to garbled Japanese to their threads with a fall line apparently dedicated to “bad squirrels”

Designer Natalia Alaverdian’s Fall and Winter 2015 line for London-based fashion brand A.W.A.K.E. has been getting a lot of attention from Japanese net users since its release. But what exactly is all the buzz about?

From a quick look at the collection, you can see a recurring theme of blue kanji and katakana script on white background appearing on many of the outfits, as well as a couple of cute, rather Pokémon-esque characters.




To someone not literate in Japanese, the writing would simply pass as an interesting-looking script or pattern on the clothing. But, those who can read it will tell you that the characters 不良リス reads as furyou risu.

And what does it mean? “Bad squirrel”.

furyou furyou risu

On its own, it’s a really random thing to have written on any article of clothing, but if you consider the fact that the theme of this entire collection is actually titled “BAD SQUIRREL”, along with the two squirrel-like characters that appear throughout the collection, it actually makes some sense after all.

▼The writing between the two squirrels (相撲) says “sumo”.



If you don’t mind getting strange looks or a few laughs from people who can read and understand Japanese, by all means wear whatever appeals to you. It certainly hasn’t stopped the Japanese, and us English speakers still enjoy the amusement it brings!

Source and featured image: Japaaan magazine
All other images: A.W.A.K.E.