"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

It's that time of year again!

Subway etiquette is important in Tokyo. No matter what happens, no matter how crazy the situation you must not react. A stoic countenance must be maintained. You must not complain or you will be the nail that sticks up. As a result, some people get away with murder on the trains. Molesting women is not as common as it once was, but it is still such a problem that some train lines in Tokyo have "Women Only" carriages during morning rush hour. And almost no one ever gives up their seat for the elderly or the heavily pregnant.

Poor subway etiquette and people's reluctance to complain has lead to the development of a series of monthly posters in Tokyo train station reminding people about how to behave on the train.

Every year, Japanese companies pay their salarymen a pair of bonuses - one at the start of summer and one at the end of the year. Traditionally, the end-of-year bonus is celebrated with massive drinking parties at which dour, serious-minded captains of industry drink like university frosh frat boys on Spring Break who have just gotten out of jail and are vacationing with the heir to a brewing empire after crossing the Sahara on foot. Leading to posters like this one.

This year's spring bonus was reckoned to be a very small one at most companies due to the worldwide financial crash and no one is optimistic about the year-end either. Which I guess explains the cans in the latest poster, what with convenience store or vending machine beers being the poor man's alternative to the local izakaya.

hat-tip to Shibuya 246

I know, you think I'm exaggerating. Think again. This was taken last night by one of my workmates.

hat tip to the Bald Avenger


David said...

Queen's alum are everywhere.

the rev. paperboy said...

now, all you kids watching at home, that is how snark is done!

Anonymous said...

Interesting...This is the subway system in Tokyo, but the signs show caucasian men being drunk.

the rev. paperboy said...

yup, we are the troublemakers. A recent one warning against eating on the subway showed someone eating instant noodles--with a fork, an obvious sign of being foreign.

David said...

You're too kind Rev.

stevewoodsteel said...

Sir I think you dropped your scrambled eggs from your briefc...oh.