Japanese phrase misheard by overseas anime fan inspires amusement across the twittersphere. We solve the mystery of what it actually means!

A recent tweet containing the mysterious phrase “Grand Sponsor Tokyo day OH Christmas” by Japanese twitter user @gio_lespedeza has gone viral.  With over 14,000 retweets in the first two days after its initial posting and over 10,000 ‘likes’, it seems to have really struck a chord with Japanese netizens. But what does this strange utterance mean?

▼ Maybe if you hear it read aloud it’ll make more sense? Actually, no, nevermind!


After discovering the phrase in an English language comment, it seems the user experienced something of a eureka-moment when they realized what it actually meant. Below is a translation describing the user’s revelation:

“There was a comment in the comments section of a video series for foreign viewers of anime that explains Japanese that comes up frequently that said something like “what’s ‘Grand sponsor Tokyo day OH Christmas?'” I thought about it, and I realized that [they meant] “goran no suponsa—no teikyou de    o-okurishimasu” [this program is brought to you by…]”

“This program is brought to you by…” — once commonly heard on American television programs, this phrase has become increasingly unusual in recent decades. In Japan, however, most television programs still include this message, so it’s not surprising that the original commenter was asking about this ubiquitous bit of Japanese.

▼ You can hear the message at the end of this 14-second video.

So why did this become such a hit with Japanese Twitter users? It seems that many people were amused and interested to learn how Japanese sounds to people from other countries. Some were sympathetic, and agreed that the phrase indeed sounds that way when spoken with an English accent.

Other Twitter users were eager to share their own experiences with misheard or misinterpreted Japanese, including a pretty hilarious video of anime theme “lyrics” previously featured on a RocketNews24 article!

Despite the sudden interest in this unique interpretation of a relatively mundane part of Japanese television culture, this phrase has apparently been circulating around the internet for several years in English-speaking circles.

▼ Post from a message board predates the recent tweet by several years…

Screen shot 2016-08-13 at 7.29.37 PM

From the looks of this post, it seems that the use of the phrase amongst English speakers is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Is this just part of a long-running in-joke with North American anime fans, or did some poor soul genuinely believe this to be the meaning of the mysterious message? Either way, it seems that this rendering of the phrase appeals to Japanese people’s sense of humor.

Source: Togetter.com
Top image: Twitter/@kakikeko700
Image: Henshin Justice.com/Screenshot by RocketNews24