“You’re reading this, aren’t you?”

It’s pretty common for T-shirts and other fashion items in Japan to have English words splashed across them. Not that the designers expect anyone to really be able to understand them (and sometimes the English isn’t even intelligible to native English speakers), though. It’s just that English text has a modern, cool image in Japanese graphic design.

So at first glance, when Japanese Twitter user @hidaru was walking up a flight of stairs and saw someone carrying the bag seen in the below tweet, it probably wasn’t all that surprising…but a closer look revealed something very strange.

While those are Latin alphabet letters, the words aren’t English. Nor are they French, German, or any other Western European language. Instead, that’s a whole Japanese greeting, and the bag is keenly aware that it’s being looked at.

Arranged in a uniform font, and respaced with added punctuation for easier reading, the text says “Anata kore wo yondeimasu ne. Yoku kizukimashita ne. Tokorode anata musical mita koto arimasu ka? Jitsu wa watashi sujiganeiri no musical fan. Musical wa meccha ii yo. Ticket no torikata wa gugutte kudasai,” which translates to:

“You’re reading this, aren’t you? How perceptive you are. By the way, have you ever seen a stage musical? I’m actually a huge musical fan. Musicals are so great! Please Google how to buy tickets to them.”

Speaking of Google, plugging the Japanese into the search engine will lead you to the website of Hiroko Kachi, who, as you might be able to guess, is a Japanese musical actress.

▼ Hiroko Kachi

In addition to her thespian pursuits, Kachi also dabbles in design, and she herself created the unique bag.

▼ There’s also a wider handbag version.

This isn’t the only stealthy style Kachi has come up with either…

…as this bag’s Japanese-in-English-lettering says “Musical no pamphlet dake janaku yasai toka mo hairu benri na bag,” or “This convenient bag can hold not only musical programs, but vegetables and other stuff too.”

▼ For apparel itself, Kachi has put together this T-shirt that says “Atashi kyo ne, chiho kara kiteiru,” or “Actually, today I’m visiting from the countryside.”

Prices for the bags start at just 1,600 yen (US$15), but they’re unfortunately sold out at the moment. However, with their renewed online attention, Kachi says she’s planning to produce a new batch, and when she does they’ll be available through her online shop, Kachi no Buppan, here.

Sources: Kachi no Buppan, Twitter/@hidaru via Jiin
Top image: Kachi no Buppan
Insert image: Kachi no Buppan
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