Creative Genesis Features

Creative Genesis: The Untranslated Japanese of Jet Set Radio (Part 1)

Welcome to Hashiwatashi Project, a project that endeavors to bring the yet-to-translate Japanese material to western audiences through English and Spanish translations.

Our first step begins with a cult classic amongst gaming fans, specifically Dreamcast and Sega lovers: Jet Set Radio/Jet Grind Radio. The game got a proper release and translation at the time, but as per usual with game localization, only the characters dialog, the menus, the base script of the game got translated. But not the Japanese that can be seen on walls, street signs, billboards… 

The game takes place in Japan and is based around three real areas, addressed as “chou’s” in-game: Shibuya (belongs to the Tokio area nowadays, it used to be a regular “chou” in the past), Benten (pertaining Shinjuku) and Kogane (eastern part of Kanagawa).

On this entry, first part of Jet Set Radio’s Japanese, the kanji from the beginning area: Shibuya-chou. We hope you enjoy it and consider supporting us through our Patreon or via donations.

シブヤ町「ちょう」 駅前 「えきまえ」

Name of the area+chou, sort of like “Shibuya Town.” 駅前  The area before the station.


“Yosubui’s kitchen.”










らくだ亭 「てい」

This is a restaurant (the kanji serves as a suffix to indicate so) called Rakuda (“camel”).


This coffee place is called “Shindou,” a word that serves as an homophone for different words in Japanese. Our bet is 新道, “New Road,” for it suits better this kind of shop. It may also refer to the owner’s real name.


If there’s an element that serves as the definition of “ubiquity” for Japan, is this kind of shop. Karaoke! Just plain, clean, and clear katakana for Karaoke.


A bank called Takaho. There seems to be no information about a bank called like this in Japan, but the name itself, Takaho, appears to be normally used for firms and enterprises.











“Hamburger, now just for 60 yen.”

Judging by the color of that meat patty, you won’t want to think about what comes out of you after digestion has taken place. The buns seem tasty and serviceable enough though.


While this sign refers most probably to an ophthalmology office, or maybe it is simply a shop where glasses are sold, for the sake of visual simplicity the word メガネ/megane/ (glasses) is used instead of the usual kanji compound 眼鏡.


Asiana Burgers.


Advertising poster for oden. The little catchphrase “atsu atsu” (hot, hot) warns, or should I say, entices us,  about the temperature of this traditional Japanese pot cuisine.

六角建設 「ろっかくけんせつ」

This screenshot shows the side of a transport truck that belongs to the baddies of the game, the company called Rokkaku (hexagon). It says “Rokkaku construction.”

富士 「ふじ」

We are not sure about what kind of service or place this sign represents. But the kanji used are the same as those in the name of the most famous mount in Japan: Mount Fuji 富士山「ふじさん」.


Ishihashi travels.


Tea house called “Bon.”

神谷「かみたに」 ゴルフ

Kamitani Golf.


There are still lots of untranslated words to discover around this first area of the game. We hope this little compilation makes the reader and JSR series fan feels closer to this work. Until next time また今度!


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