Somebody loves us…

Spotted on Flickr by commenter nofrills, who reports that it was taken at “Takao-san (Mount Takao), Tokyo, Japan. It’s a hikers’ and walkers’ paradise.”

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • Greenflag

    Osaka -Japan 2006-April 1st

    A Japanese schoolgirl is asked to write an essay in which she must answer the question , ‘Why do you love Northern Ireland’. She asks her father whom she saw buy a tee shirt in a rummage sale to raise funds for a charity so she asks him .

    ‘Love Northern Ireland !’ he shouts , ‘You can’t love those bloody gangsters , sectarian bigots , political charlatans , no good spongers *&*&### etc etc. So wee Ono goes to her mother and asks her the same question .
    ‘Why do I love Northern Ireland ?’ ponders the ma .

    ‘You can’t love such a wicked country , darling ‘ he mother tells her .

    She asks other members of the family but nobody has a good word for NI not even the cat . So she returns to school next day and answers the question with the shortest essay ever in history class .

    ‘I love Northern Ireland because nobody else does ‘

    No chocs or cards for you lot of reprobates , curmudgeons and gobshites even on this ghastly day 🙂

  • susan

    I can’t believe I’m the only one out there who thinks that “heart” looks more like a target. Nonetheless, I’m sure he has a love, a love you don’t find every day….

  • Justin

    I bet that shirt was purchased on the Falls Rd…

  • PaddyReilly

    Judging by his girth I’d say his real message is “I love Ulster fry”

  • Donnacha

    It’s not a target it’s an orange. Although I realise some people might think the two were interchangeable….

  • Hi, all. Hope you don’t mind my translating your comments on my blog, because the photographer might wonder what is said about the picture and it’s me that wrote to Mick.

    The funny thing is, on his right, the signboard shows “Birds and flowers on Mount Takao”, and on his left, it reads like “Enjoy the Green in the Takao area”, with “Green” being trees and plants – natural environment in general.

    Greenflag’s “Why You love Northern Ireland” question should be given a try in Iwata, Shizuoka. They are most likely to name a footballer. George “the Legend” Best? Possible. But it’s Robert Cullen. He was born between a Northern Irish father and a Japanese mother in Japan in 1985. His brother was taught English by his father and works as a professional interpreter, while Robert doesn’t speak more than ten words or so (just like an ordinary Japanese). He chose the Japanese nationality as Japan doesn’t recognise double citizenships, was in the Under-20 Japan national team, and now in the Under-22 squad. Watch out. This is no Poisson d’Avril. 🙂

    And I thank you for remembering the name Ono, be it Yoko Ono or Shinji Ono (footballer, on the national team, was in the World Cup, and was in the Netherland).

  • susan

    Nofrills, that’s an impressive blog you have, although I can’t understand a word of it!

    If you ever hear more information from that phographer, I would love to hear it. Like Donnacha, I secretly thought the heart was an orange, but it looked like an orange with a great big hole in its middle, and I didn’t want to be the one to point that out in Slugger’s feel-good Valentine’s Day thread.

    I thought the little green things on top of the orange were leaves, but I spoke to my friend Trish from the Falls, who is never ever wrong, and she pointed out to me it is actually a fish.

    We both agree it is a great photo, however.

  • susan, I’m glad you like my blog! Once Bruce Lee said “Don’t think. Feel” and that’s it! 😉

    Looking at a larger version, I think the thing on his chest is an apple. It’s the way we often design the fruit here in the East Asia: a red circle (or circular shape) with a tiny green leaf on top, just like this photo. So it might have been an “I Love (the big apple) NY” with something seriously wrong, or a parody like “I Love Niigata (a prefecture in Japan)”. That’s my guess and the photographer’s as far as I know. But the “hole” in the apple is a mystery in this theory. Could be a glossy part, or just for the design.

    #Excuse me for silly spelling mistakes if any.

  • Airo Muramatsu

    I am the photographer of this one. If you guys want the larger version of this photo, I can upload one. Also, I have different versions of this guy, closer look and so on, so if you want… That looked like a Donuts convined with Apple. Not sure what that meant. This guy is not my friend, so I cannot ask him either.

  • susan

    Thank you, Airo Muramatsu, and thank you nofrills! Nofrills, your spelling is impeccable. If you are also this fluent in Irish and Ulster Scots you may have to be put on tour! :o)

    As to the photo, I guess I’ll just have to learn to embrace the mystery. Domo arigato! (Yes, the only Japanese I know is from “Mr. Roboto” — oh, the shame of it)