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Mind your Manners in Tokyo

September 9, 2008

Mind your Manners in Tokyo

While Japan is known as a very proper country when it comes to etiquette, and most times people will go out of their way to be polite, it seems that the some of the busy residents of Tokyo, and the city’s smokers, may have forgotten some of their manners.  Tokyo Metro and Japan Tobacco have both created campaigns to remind the people of what is, or isn’t, acceptable behavior.

Tokyo Metro’s ad campaign comes in the form of eye catching yellow and white posters that feature an image and a phrase, in English and Japanese, starting with “Please do it…”.

Want to be a lazy slob with your stuff strewn around you?  Tokyo Metro says “Please do it at home” in the first of this series of  ads that started in appearing in the city’s subway stations in April.  Some of the other things that Tokyo Metro wants you to do at home include:

In August, a poster declared “Please do it at the beach” and portrays an image of someone wading through a crowd to get on a train as the doors are closing.  When you hear the station music start it’s a sign that the doors are about to close and rushing to get on the train is probably not the safest thing that you could do.  You’d be better off taking a deep breath and waiting for the next train, it’s usually no more then a 10 minute wait.

The most current poster reminds riders not to bring luggage and large packages on the trains with the phrase “Please do it on the mountain“.   This is presumably a reminder to the thousands of people that make the trek up Mount Fuji each summer in Japan with backpacks and walking sticks in tow.  Taking large packages on the train is not only disruptive to the other riders but is very frustrating and is something that is best avoided, especially during busy hours, as even packages from a day of shopping can be very hard to manage on a crowded train.

Tokyo Metro has also created women only cars so that women don’t have to be subject to gropers during busy times when the trains are packed to capacity.  They also remind us often about using cell phones in “manner mode” which means don’t answer your phone or let it ring when you are on the trains.

Tokyo Metro isn’t the only entity reminding people of their manners.  Japan Tobacco has also created a series of posters that remind smokers to use designated smoking areas, not to litter, and not to smoke when they walk in their Smokers’ Style Campaign which are also bilingual.

Image Credit:  Personal Collection