In Japan, there's an inexpensive clothing chain called Shimamura (しまむら). Online, people tend to make fun of Shimamura and say it's "not cool." But can it make anything seem dorky? One meme tried to find out.

Below is an actual Shimamura. Above the shop's logo, it reads, "Fashion Center" in Japanese. Thing is, many in Japan don't see Shimamura as a fashion center, but more of an uncool center. Thus, it's often ragged on.

But why? Shimamura is something you typically find in Japan's suburbs or in small towns (yes, cities have them, too), and life outside the big cities is seen as dull and behind the times by urban hipsters. Know that in Tokyo, people from the countryside even try to hide their accents or local dialects, because the last thing they want to be known as is a country bumpkin.


Haters say if you are wearing clothes from Shimamura, then you are not savvy, trendy, and lack a sense of style. Also, Shimamura's clothes are cheap, so some in Japan, like in many places, believe the price tag reflects coolness—which is a mistake, I think.

Earlier this year, however, it became somewhat of a thing to see if the Shimamura logo could make anything oh so square—a "Will it blend?" for fashion, if you will. This would be like putting a Tesco or a Walmart logo on an image (and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with either store). The gag was that the characters either look super confident, stylish, or tough. Adding a Shimamura logo turned the image into a faux ad and deflated that perceived coolness.

(And yes, some of the characters below are decked out in utterly goofy outfits, which make the Shimamura logo seem all the sillier!)

Likewise, there are people in Japan who also say Uniqlo is "uncool," too. And there was also a variation of this meme with the Uniqlo logo. It wasn't quite the same, though, and it didn't quite catch on.


In Japan, lots of people shop at both Shimamura and Uniqlo because they sell decent, simple basics for affordable prices. Of course, there's nothing wrong with either Shimamura or Uniqlo, despite how some in Japan view both chains. People can wear what they want and shouldn't be derided for shopping at sensibly priced shops!

The Joker, though, looks delightful as a Shimamura model.

Photos: tomagai, 2ch, CarView, Makingdom, Haruki, Hokmmttyy, Hinakuzu, Koha_ka4, Kairi, Natsu, Bhe_Bbo, Kuso, Saku, Bhe_Bbo, rsk0801, tamamitsu55, Dejiru, Nanaichi, Meteru, Rangom, Lene, c1voer, Kaokaoruco

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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