Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas decorations, Japanese-style...

Part 2 of my Hiroshima cultural trip Dec. 13 (Click here for Part 1, the Mazda (automaker) Museum) was a trip to one of the large (by Japanese standards) malls in Hiroshima. The Aeon Mall  is where, if I squinted my eyes a bit and didn't try to decipher any languages I heard around me, I felt like I was back home, Christmas shopping in a Southern California suburb. Those of you in the Orange County, CA, area, or who are familiar with it, the Aeon Mall is larger than the Laguna Hills Mall, but a bit smaller than the Mission Viejo Mall. And Pensacola peeps, it puts that mall to shame.

Note to parent: Dad, I'm sorry, I don't know the significance of the train. You'll just have to come out here and visit to find out for yourself. ;)

The Aeon Mall does boast some very familiar stores... Sports Authority, Toys R Us, the Body Shop. And one of my personal favorites from back home... Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt!

They even have the same yogurt flavors, including two of my favorites, cake batter and the tart one. But the sizes (and corresponding process, were a bit different. Here's the size display that was at the register:

Here are the mall decorations... again, very similar to America, along with the Christmas carols that were playing throughout the mall and in each store. For a nation that isn't Christian, they sure do love this holiday season. And, please note all of the English signage. This is in the heart of a major city in Japan. English has very much gone global....

English may have gone global, but that doesn't mean there isn't something lost in the translation.

There were posters and displays all over the mall, promoting the "Many Christmas" theme. I have not idea if this is a nod to "The 12 Days of Christmas" with some poor grammar, or if someone in the mall's marketing department confused someone's handwriting. But, regardless, this year, Aeon Mall wishes a Many Christmas to all!

Some interesting items I found at the mall. Well, I, at least found them interesting:

Loved this bench! Multipurpose and in my colors!

This is a men's store called Union Station. I did get Rodney a gift from this store, but it was not one of those man purses. They just didn't have one that wouldn't clash with Marine Corps camo.

So, my friend, Yolanda and I had a deep discussion about what kind of store was called "Starvations." I went with the opposite of Lane Bryant: a store for anorexic and bulimic women (not that these diseases are at all humorous.) Really skinny twig-like Japanese women whose waists are the size of my wrist. I was wrong. It's a children's clothing store, of course! Again, someone in some marketing department somewhere got a few wires crossed with the translation.

Also interesting to note: The Japanese do not send Christmas cards to each other. They send New Years postcards. Generally, these are a picture of your family on the front of a card and then the address of the recipient on the back. And the Japanese post office takes very good care of these cards so they aren't ruined. Envelopes are not necessary. Perhaps the USPS should take a little field trip over to Tokyo to find out how it's done. Here are some of the postcard choices available:

Now for a bit of a change of topic. As always, I am collecting some wonderful Janglish that I've found around Japan in my travels. Here are some of my favorites:

I think they had my 6-year old help them copy write for this label. 

Just add fire?

Um, I don't think my husband would want me to order any more of that, thank you.

And something fun here on base: Two Sergeant Majors live across from each other. Clearly the one on the right was not channeling his inner Clark Griswold this year:

Merry Christmas to all!

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