Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Japanese Transit Etiquette

Japanese Etiquette for the Train

“The Japanese adopt rules and mannerisms different from other cultures. Some rules are the same as other countries, such as eating on subways is not allowed; however, there are others—such as talking on your phone—that are considered rude in Japan. To help foreigners avoid public transport faux pas on its trains—and as a reminder to locals—the Tokyo Metro creates a series of courtesy posters each year to display in its stations and platforms. For 2013, a series of vibrantly colored posters were unveiled—one poster was created for each month, inspired by the months’ activities and season. 

Presented in illustrations that accurately and easily get the message across, the posters depict various scenes to help you know how to behave on the subways—and the perils you could cause for behaving in ways that you should not. Even if you don’t read or speak Japanese, you’d know what is considered discourteous, and what you should or should not do, just by looking at the illustrated posters.”

Please "do it at home" campaign-

Vintage Tokyo subway manners posters from Pink Tentacle: Here are a few manner posters that appeared in the Tokyo subways between 1976 and 1982.

I'll stand up (July 1979)

Uesugi Teppei, a character from the popular manga "Ore wa Teppei," offers to give up his seat to the elderly and infirm.

Space Invader (March 1979)

This 1979 poster pays tribute to the extremely popular Space Invaders video arcade game and encourages passengers to read their newspapers without invading the space of other passengers.
Don't forget your umbrella (October 1981)

The text at the top of this poster -- which shows Jesus overwhelmed with umbrellas at the Last Supper -- reads "Kasane-gasane no kami-danomi" (lit. "Wishing to God again and again"). The poster makes a play on the words "kasa" (umbrella) and "kasane-gasane" (again and again).
Coughing on the platform (January 1979)

Modeled after the paintings of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, this poster -- titled "Hōmu de Concon" (coughing on the platform) -- urges people not to smoke on the train platforms during the designated non-smoking hours (7:00-9:30 AM and 5:00-7:00 PM). The poster makes a play on the words "concon" (coughing sound) and "cancan" (French chorus line dance).

Umbrellas left behind in the subway (June 1976)

This Marilyn Monroe poster aims to remind passengers to take their umbrellas with them when they leave the train. The text in the top right corner -- "Kaerazaru kasa" (umbrella of no return) -- is a play on "Kaerazaru Kawa," the Japanese title for "River of No Return," the 1954 movie starring Monroe.
Directly above and below- From Vibrant Posters For Tokyo Subway, Teach Tourists Manners With Fun Illustrations, By Anthea Quay

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

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