Sketchy Japanese Cultural Appropriation?
September 1, 2018 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Do the red 'characters' in this image from skater-gear maker/artist Sketchy Tank say anything? If so, in what language?

the graphic seems to be called 'unlucky' and is based on the ubiquitous waving-cat, Maneki-Neko. i really like the design, but don't want to wear something that's nonsense, or weird appropriation. help?
posted by j_curiouser to Writing & Language (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It says "bad luck" - English words spelled phonetically.
posted by sunset in snow country at 6:39 PM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


The characters say "Bad luck" in English that has been transliterated into Japanese katakana, which is the typical writing system used for transliterating foreign words. As a white American who has been studying Japanese for about eight years, I don't see anything particularly appropriative or offensive about this. There's a novel with the same name and a pro wrestler with almost the same name. Also, the maneki neko image itself has been transformed and reimagined many different ways in Japan. This T-shirt has a pretty metal-looking one.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 6:49 PM on September 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


so. cool. thanks peeps!
posted by j_curiouser at 7:35 PM on September 1, 2018


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