They’re baaack

You’re getting a fourfer today on the manner posters. Thankfully Tokyo Metro did away with those horrific cutsie animal posters after a year and returned to where it’s at – questionable pop art! After a quick perusal of the posters for April-July, however, I’m not sure the new generation of posters will inspire much snark in me. There is the questionable use of that bear…I do with they had kept on with Creepy Sweepy and co. This is Japan though, and I’m guessing someone decided that if there wasn’t a forced element of cute, no one would mind their manners. Why be adults about it when we can fall back on cute!

Two of the posters did get my attention because they display the kind of behavior that I sometimes like to encourage when braving the subway during the rush, which sometimes feels like every fucking hour of the day. Not so much self-defense, but self-preservation if you will. If I am sitting on the train and people around me are behaving themselves, I’ll keep my legs together. I also do this when wearing a skirt regardless of others’ behavior because really, what’s sexy about flashing a sweating salaryman the good china? If a man (it’s usually men) next to me has decided to treat the train seat like his sofa at home, my legs are wide open. You have to assert yourself, you see, or every last inch around you will be occupied by someone or something in the train car.

The second and last technique for preserving your space and dignity, is the wet umbrella. It doesn’t actually have to be wet, but you have to employ it in a way that both wards off people and makes you look completely innocent at the same time. If I take the train in the morning, my station is ridiculously hard to get into because everyone is coming out to go to work. On days that it rains, as I enter the station, I casually hold my umbrella farther from me than necessary while making it seem as if I am fastening the strap around it. I find the threat of getting wet tends to make those who would normally run me over keep some distance. If someone does get too close, the obviously get wet.

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14 thoughts on “They’re baaack

  1. Kathryn says:

    Damn I’m on the Toei line so we don’t get those posters… and most of the dudes on my line really need to read the leg spreading one. Actually so do a lot of the girls (and they do wear short skirts).

    • I know! Maybe I am overly aware of my own crotch but I wonder if all these women are knowingly flashing the whole train!

      • Kathryn says:

        Maybe they haven’t had a lifetime of their grandmother telling them to keep their knees together.

        If it was a slutty teenager, you’d think it’s intentional but often it’s not even.

  2. Randy Bush says:

    on the chiyoda, we saw a really depressing one, http://archive.psg.com/shame.jpg

    • Wow thanks for bringing that to my attention. That is really fucking weird…way to keep people in line. The graphics remind me of the smoking manner posters from JT…will look into it some more!! Thanks again!

  3. Liza says:

    Hello, I found these vintage posters and wanted to share with you. So happy you are back to blogging!
    http://www.retronaut.co/2011/09/tokyo-subway-manner-posters-1976-1982/

  4. gaijinwife says:

    Wish I had a train line running through Kunimi so I could have some funny posters 🙂 Leg spreading would fuck me off – but a tiny panda like doll like suited girl thing following behind my suitcase would be really bloody weird.

    • I really don’t get the leg spreading, but it comes second nature to some of these men. Maybe they wouldn’t be so quick to spread if women started accidentally on purpose swinging their purses in a strategical manner 🙂

  5. randy says:

    just feel lucky you don’t have to use a priority seat in mitaka

  6. Michelle says:

    It’s Cheburashka! Wow, so he has a job in Japan now… fascinating.

    • I had to look up that reference but I see the resemblance!

      • skv012a says:

        I’ve noticed it, at least over this past summer when I got to go see the lands of samurai unicorns for myself. Their recent, micro-obsession with Russia and all things Russian is quite frankly shocking. Mostly due to the fact that, ahem, look at the past of the two countries, and then the fact that its Russia- country forever led by blatant thieves where the rest of the people know they’re screwed whether they try to better their lives or not.

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