Ai Takahashi is a former member of Japanese pop group Morning Musume. And recently, she was photographed wearing a most unfortunate shirt.
Note: This article contains content some readers might find objectionable.
Fellow former Morning Musume member Yuko Nakazawa uploaded a photo of the two, writing on her blog that Takahashi had come to Fukuoka for a TV shoot. This is said photo:
Yikes! Wearing a shirt like this isn't something most people in Japan would do on purpose, especially a former bubble gum idol like Takahashi with a very clean image. This is the last thing she would wear on purpose, and the outfit certainly seems to be a terrible accident.
Takahashi also uploaded the photo to her site, writing about the day's TV shoot. She apparently was dressed like this while visiting loads of different stores. Her blog post appears to indicate she's totally unaware of what's on her shirt...
Both blog posts have since been deleted; however, a fan site did an English translation of Takahashi's post (which you can read here).
The image has been circulating on mainstream Japanese outlets like Nikkan Sports and Cyzo, and is being republished on major news sites like Infoseek News and Livedoor News. There is also a thread on 2ch, Japan's largest online forum, on the tragic wardrobe choice.
According to Nikkan Sports, it seems possible that the shirt was an outfit for the show—the mic Takahashi was wearing indicates such. Meaning? Meaning that Takahashi was probably dressed by a stylist. If that's so, these don't seem to be her own clothes. Moreover, if the English hadn't been discovered online in Japan after the fact, the shirt could've ended up on television when (and now, if) the segment aired.
Granted, the word isn't as well-known in Japan as other off-color English terms, but some pointed the finger at Takahashi, while others said the stylist should be fired.
"The foreign words on t-shirts are landmines," wrote one commenter on GirlsChannel. "This isn't really a word you show on television," wrote another comment. "I wouldn't have known," chimed in yet another.
Remember, this is a two way street. Here is an image that is often posted online in Japan:
The character on the kid's shirt (痔 or "ji") means hemorrhoids.
Takahashi's unfortunate article of clothing brings back memories of the Japanese children's TV show host with "Cock" and "Pussy" written on her costume. It also seems oddly reminiscent of those terrible kanji tattoos Westerners accidentally get—a comparison that people online in Japan having been making in comment threads about this shirt.