Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Last year, I saw Liz Lawley link to an Apron with an Apple Base Station that said "All Your Base Station Are Belong To Us." I thought it was really funny and bought one for my sister. Ever since then, I've seen references to, and have used myself on occasion, this funny grammatically flawed assertion.

Last night, Rojisan asked me if I knew where this phrase came from. I didn't. He told me that it came from a mistranslation in a Japanese video game. ??? This morning I saw a link on RageBoy's page to an ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US flash animation. (My first exposure to the images from the actual video game.) A quick Google produced a Wired News article explaining that the game is called Zero Wing from 1989 for the Sega Genesis.

"I'm obviously the dorky kid coming late to the party."


"I'm obviously the dorky kid coming late to the party."

Corrrrect! :-)

It is like being stealth disco-ed ;)

Joi, I'm sorry! I should have linked to the "All Your Base" site when I linked to the apron... :)

So, did you enjoy picture on Rageboy's blog?

FYI there is a comprehensive history of the how the phrase became popular here:

I am such a dork.. I actually use that on my 404 page.

It is from an old 16 bit sega game called Zerowing on the Genesis/MegaDrove.

the intro was full of "Engrish" and it became a net cult meme.

So you wouldn't have understood this parody earlier this year...

Make your time.

Hilarious to continue to see this popping up all over the place. It is rather humorous, both in and out of context.

Make your time.

It started at on the forums at

A poster named "Gamequoter" started by posting the first sequence of the mistranslated image.

The World Trade Center guy originated there as well.

I'm looking for an English to Japanese
translation to put on a T-Shirt as a gift.

I gotta find a translator (mechanical?) that won't be offended at the making fun of Engrish. I'll settle for a poor translation, since that would fit right in with the fun, but I'd really like a translation that when read by someone fluent in Japanese, it will 1) be instantly recognizable as THAT phrase, and/or 2) is a horrible enough to have the same flavor of reverse Engrish.

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I hadn't previously heard of YAML Ain't Markup (YAML), obviously owing to my being lost in a similar parallel universe as the one that got Joi Ito (see his All Your Base Are Belong to Us post). Read More