Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Please do it at home

家でやろう I've been noticing over the last couple of months these new posters adorning the walls of subway stations here in Tokyo. I love the graphics and pop-ish style of them all, and in particular this one with the eyelash curler.

According to the Tokyo Metro site, this campaign encouraging manners on the subway is going to run into next year, with the poster changing every month. I wonder what we can expect in July! I am personally hoping for one that discourages picking either your nose or scalp and eating the product of it-both of which I have seen enough times to think there is a problem. Yes it would be nice if the Metro people would encourage passengers to pick their noses at home!

Now I have two questions in case anyone is a) actually reading my blog and b) feels moved to comment.

1) Is the first poster showing four different scenarios or is it a progression of one? If so, is the woman depicted getting angry at her lover and then being pacified? Or is she knitting her brow and yelling because there is no cell reception in the subway and the person on the other end of the line can't hear her life or death message?
2) What would you like to see on the posters in coming months?

I'm thinking one discouraging puking would be nice. A depiction of a salaryman projectile vomiting onto a fellow passenger could work nicely. Or one asking little old ladies to keep their elbows to themselves when rushing for the only seat left in the carriage. Oh! Or one that discourages drooling on the shoulder of your neighbor as your head lolls dangerously close to them. How many months is that? Can the Metro think tanks really come up with 12 "manners" that can be deemed problem enough to fill one year of posters? I've seen some interesting behavior on the trains but compared with some of the sketchy shit that goes on in other cities, it all seems rather tame and amusing.

I don't know that any of the millions of passengers riding the subway through Tokyo everyday are going to take heed of these posters, except maybe to appreciate them as I do-depicting some of the behavior that either pisses or puts me off. I do hope they come up with an explicit and shocking one of a chikan (molester) feeling up some poor woman. Most of the posters in the anti-molestation campaigns that I have seen either depict only women or they show a shady silohuette of a man in the background of the message telling women to speak out against molesters on the train. I would hope that putting the problem out there a little more explicitly might make some people uncomfortable enough to stop treating it like an annoying occurrence on the way to work and actually speak out a bit more. Or is that just illogical thinking on my part?


lea said...

I`m definitely a fan of the "don`t pick your nose" sign. That always grosses me out. The one sign with the woman putting mascara on kind of bugged me last month, because here you have this society where women are expected to look cute and primped all the time, and then everyone gets mad if yr in a hurry to do it. If someone is dumb enough to put a sharp object next to her eye on a moving train, well that`s her own problem. I`d rather interpret the sigh as a warning to old men wearing sunglasses (on a train, for some reason) not to leer at women half their age...

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

You know what, I never even noticed that the man with no eyes is in every single poster-now I'm vaguely creeped out and can't stop looking at him! Maybe he's going to appear as a central character down the line (discouraging pervs?)and they are doing some foreshadowing in the first few posters.