Shitte: Internet FAIL FAIL

尻手

Hello? Internet? Are you awake? Do you see this kanji???

I was on the train the other day and discovered that there is a station called Shitte (尻手) on the JR Nambu line. Shitte! And did you see the kanji??? “Ass-hand.” Again, everyone: a city called Shitte made from the kanji for “ass-hand.”

But listen, this is not the kind of thing I want to discover on a JR map. I need this genius found comedy to show up on my RSS reader. This could be front page material for about 75% of the Japan blogs, with trackbacks by BuzzFeed, DIGG’d to infinity. Remember that city in Austria? Okay, that was better, but seriously: Shitte Ass-Hand! There should be entire webpages dedicated to this station. Shitte.com. TheRealshitte.com. Shitte.jp. http://www.bekkoame.co.jp/~38293skasldasd/shitte.htm.

Terrible work, everyone. I better see some daily Shitte coverage on Engrish.net-type sites soon or the entire internet is fired. The whole point of websites is to constantly scroll the Japanese lexicon for things that sound funny in English.

W. David MARX
August 24, 2009

22 Responses

  1. Kindaichi Says:

    You are not fully understanding the expression. In Japanese, there is nothing amusing about this word. I suggest that you look up both 尻 and 手 in a J-J dictionary. There are many other meanings. Rather than “ass-hand”, it simply means 後ろの方.

    Take a look at the Wikipedia entry where it says:
    駅名の由来

    駅開設当時、当駅自体は川崎市大字南河原に位置していたが、駅名は隣接する橘樹郡鶴見町大字市場字尻手(現在の横浜市鶴見区尻手一~三丁目)から採った。「尻手」とは「ある地域の後方にある土地」を意味する。

    By the way, the etymology of this word is /sirite/ > /sitte/ due to euphony. Fairly common word in the 17-18th centuries. There was also the idiom 尻手を使ふ meaning to properly settle something instead of leaving it “behind” (not ass).

    This same 尻 is the etymology of a number of other words, including the well-known 退く (sirizoku).

  2. W. David MARX Says:

    Thanks for that. I would argue with you but I didn’t actually mean my “ass-hand” translation to be “real” as much as “sensational.”

  3. Entwhislte Says:

    Yes, Kindaichi. Hopefully some Austrian net users can provide a similar explanation for the aforementioned town and we can put that one to rest too.

  4. Hiroko Tabuchi Says:

    Is this a spoof entry? Most Japanese have heard of Shitte and it’s not considered so strange. (In fact, the character 尻, meaning 後ろ/behind, makes an appearance in many Japanese names: 江尻, 戸尻 etc.)

    Although this does remind me of a story on Butt Hole Road, UK: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/world/europe/23crapstone.html

  5. Hiroko Tabuchi Says:

    A list of other strange place names in Japan (and foreign names that sound weird to Japanese) http://ankyo.at.infoseek.co.jp/chinmei.html

  6. rokudenashi Says:

    Austria here.
    “Fucking” is actually funny to us (in both senses).

    Means nothing in (austrian) German though.

  7. Adamu Says:

    NY Times had a great article on UK place names that sound awesomely funny to modern ears:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/world/europe/23crapstone.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=uk%20place%20names&st=Search

  8. Christina Says:

    Are you retarded? Get out of Japan, you baka gaijin. You have 尻手 all wrong.

  9. rokudenashi Says:

    Apparently one japanese blogger is with Marxy on this one:
    http://image.blog.livedoor.jp/pyon_goodluck/imgs/7/d/7dda83d5.jpg

  10. morphine Says:

    http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q146181724

    What’s the funniest last name you’ve ever heard? I met a girl whose last name was 出口 and I couldn’t stop laughing.

  11. Mulboyne Says:

    When this came up on the FG forums a few months ago, it was alleged that Hiromi Go’s father used to be the stationmaster at Shiite.

  12. W. David MARX Says:

    There we go: FG got there first. I knew somebody was out there covering the real Japan.

  13. Peter Says:

    Kindaichi, way to go with the flow. Of course it doesn’t mean what Marxy is insinuating, but I will also admit that the first time I looked at the Kanagawa area on a JR map and saw this station, I smirked as well.

    Etymology, shmetymology. The explanations don’t make it any less amusing.

  14. rabuho Says:

    I think Marxy’s facetiousness is lost on some of the commenters here.

    I used to get off at this station all the time (to go to the Nitori nearby), and though the “ass-hand” image came to mind immediately, once I discovered the etymology of the name it was quite a disappointment.

  15. W. David MARX Says:

    I thought the bekkoame joke was a dead giveaway, but alas…

  16. Durf Says:

    The indignant comments are what totally made this entry work for me.

  17. W. David MARX Says:

    I don’t know, maybe that woman was asking “are you retarded?” in a kind, concerned way?

  18. Barry Black Boy Says:

    Shitte … funny !! like shit !! like from the anus !! ha ha ha !!!!

  19. Barry Black Boy Says:

    Just to clarify –
    you translate “shitte” as ass-hand, and then
    say that this is the kind of thing that idiots do,
    but you aren’t an idiot because you don’t
    actually mean it ?

    Sort of like “it’s funny because I know it’s not actually
    funny but other people think I think it’s actually funny”

  20. Twitter Trackbacks for META no TAME » Blog Archive » Shitte: Internet FAIL FAIL [neojaponisme.com] on Topsy.com Says:

    [...] META no TAME » Blog Archive » Shitte: Internet FAIL FAIL meta.neojaponisme.com/2009/08/24/shitte-internet-fail-fail – view page – cached I was on the train the other day and discovered that there is a station called Shitte (尻手) on the JR Nambu line. Shitte! And did you see the kanji??? “Ass-hand.” Again, everyone: a city called Shitte made from the kanji for “ass-hand.” — From the page [...]

  21. M-Bone Says:

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%B0%BB%E6%AF%9B%E9%A7%85

    This, of course, refers to some ancient Shinto-onmyodo-tantric syncretic thing, certainly not to hairy bums.

  22. TheStrawMan Says:

    I was gonna mention 尻毛駅 but you beat me to it. I used to pass that station occasionally when I lived in Gifu, and had a chuckle about it.
    Most Japanese I talked to also considered it amusing enough to bring up in passing conversation.