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Clothing with incorrect and funny English (so-called Engrish) is everywhere in Japan, and has given many foreign visitors a chuckle over the years.  So it’s always nice to see the tables turned, and Japan having the opportunity to marvel at clothing with odd Japanese writing on it.

That’s what happened this week when our reporter Mr. Sato got wind that actress and model Lily-Rose Depp had been spotted in New York wearing a particularly nonsensical T-shirt with Japanese kanji characters on it. He had only one question: “Where did she get it?”

…only one question, Mr. Sato? We’ve got a few more questions than that! So let’s take a look at the shirt in question, and crack the code behind its oddball message.

16-year-old Depp, who started modelling at the age of ten and was chosen this summer as the new face of Chanel, uploaded this picture to Instagram on Monday:

But what does it all mean?

Running down the side of the shirt we have 大衆 (taishuu) which means “public” (as in “the general public”) followed by 居酒屋 “izakaya”, which beer fans will recognise as the Japanese word for a bar serving food. So 大衆居酒屋 means something a bit like “public bar”.

And in the centre of the shirt (this is the good bit) we have 喧嘩 (kenka) meaning “argument”, with いらっしゃいませ (irasshaimase) underneath, which means “welcome” and is the greeting that Japanese shopkeepers call out to entering and prospective customers.

Maybe fights are welcome in the public bar? Who knows…

So, put it all together and we get a nice string of nonsense Japanese on a bold black T-shirt. And when you think about it, a T-shirt with something vaguely contentious written on it is actually a perfectly normal and appropriate thing for a teenager to be wearing. More normal than being the face of Chanel at sixteen, anyway. And hey, at least it’s not a garbled Japanese tattoo.

Sources: Huffington Post JPInstagram/Lily-Rose Depp
Featured image: Instagram/Lily-Rose Depp