Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
Ping-pong-lish has fans in a spin
For all the giant strides Japan has made in putting up signs nationwide to show foreign visitors what they should or should not do in temples, public baths and sports stadiums, it seems someone forgot about the world table tennis championships in Yokohama.
The English version of the official website for the tournament delightfully serves up “suitable assistance” guidelines for visiting fans.
“The national flag is prohibited from projecting,” it advises, although it helpfully offers a loophole, should the flag be in motion. “But the flag shake it by the hand is not restricted,” the website says, adding that “the whistle and drum are not restricted.”
Ping pong afficionados in possession of a whistle or a drum should note, however, that they must “obey instructions obediently.”
Mexican wave enthusiasts might also want to remember “the stick balloon is not restricted” — useful information as they could have someone’s eye out.
“I read it with interest,” one German visitor to Yokohama Arena said. “I didn’t understand a whole lot, but I will wave my flag until I am told to sit down and be quiet.”
Photo credit: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon