June 4, 2009

Please Decide Your Agenda

(In Hibiya station.)
The latest in Tokyo Metro's series of posters encouraging good manners on the subway. This series began in April 2008, and a new poster is unveiled each month. What was initially viewed with fleeting curiosity has slowly become a pop culture phenomenon. (It must mean something if someone outside of Japan uses the posters as their profile pic on Facebook, right?)

The posters are hilarious in their dead-on depictions of the types of "inconsiderate manners" we see on the train. For example, the above poster outlines a situation I encounter with amusing frequency: oyaji salarymen practicing their golf swing with their umbrellas as they wait on the platform for the train. (And the people walking around them, idly wondering how much it would hurt if the umbrella hit them.)

At times the posters skew too far towards the outlandish, becoming a parody of what they supposedly stand for. But perhaps Tokyo Metro understands that no matter how on-the-mark their posters are, some passengers will still inconvenience others. So why not have fun with it?

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