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.