Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Please do it again

Like lemmings marching to their death. The salaryman in the gray suit looks very nervous with the suspicious looking punk behind him. Either that or he is showing him how to do the dance move they are all performing.

This poster would be laughed at and ignored in America. Unfortunately the idiots who ride the subway in Los Angeles pay no attention to train etiquette. People in LA start pushing to get on the train without letting passenger exit first. Morons.


  1. Hehehe... then again, from the expression of "concerned customer", I'm starting to think that he's not exactly happy with etiquette being followed anyhow. It looks like he's wondering if there's a bomb in his pocket, or if he's just happy to see him...

    I have to say that whilt the Japanese are by and large more polite... there are situations when the law of the jungle does seem to apply, even there.

    For example, the Japanese are pretty bad once they get a seat in a train (especially in Tokyo). Here, we often give up seats for elderly, small kids, pregnant women etc... This doesn't happen as naturally in Japan from what we've experienced. To the point (apparently) that people will pretend to be asleep...

    When we were in Japan in 2006, they were just starting to introduce a wearable tag to identify pregnant women (who had priority seating). Whilst that was a really good idea, it didn't work that well. At least the Japanese attempt to do something.

  2. Heh funny sign.

    I'd say the Japanese are pretty darn rude when it comes to train manners. They do line up, but once the train arrives it is a free for all as everyone makes a mad dash to get in first to get seats. And yes, many try to squeeze in and get on before the people inside have exited. I don't even try to get a seat anymore, I just stand by the door and watch as everyone fights over them.

    And once inside... I've never once seen a Japanese get up and offer their seat to the elderly or pregnant, this incudes kids and businessmen seated in the "silver" seats, altho I have seen several foreigners do it. (I know that is a bigger issue with some people simply being too embarrassed and nervous to get up and offer their seat)

    In my experience obaachans are the worst. They don't even pretend to be polite, they just push to the front of the line and do whatever they want.

    I always think trains bring out the worst in the Japanese. But then again, I vaguely remember reading that it's more or less ok to be rude to strangers here, it's only when you have some kind of relationship with the person or when someone you have a relationship with is watching that you have to be polite.

  3. Thank you both for the comments. I've generally heard the same thing about Japanese trains AND I experienced the same rudeness on the train in Kamakura in June. Even though I was holding a 2 year-old, when the train arrived, I was pushed out of the way by older school kids trying to get on the train. I held my ground though. :)

  4. I've seen Japanese people give up seats for elderly people, though more often on the bus than the train.

    That said, I agree with what's been said...the Japanese have mastered the art of line forming, but the commute is still a free for all otherwise. There are still people who ignore lines and try to get on and off before people ahead of them.

  5. i just discovered your blog and really like it

  6. I completely concur!

  7. I think the Tokyoites are much more polite when it comes to getting on a train than the folks in Sendai.

    At least down in Tokyo there is some sort of social code to follow. Getting on a train in Sendai (when it's busy) is a free-for-all.

  8. More often than not, I do see people in the Yokohama area giving up their seats to the elderly or mothers with children. And quite often, if there's a pair or group of 3 people and people spread out on the seats, some will move. However, when the train is absolutely packed, it is a bit difficult for people to get up and give someone their seat.

    I think the worst thing is when people try to push their way onto a train while others are still getting off. Today, as I was leaving the train at Yokohama station, a man was blocking half of the door, waiting to get on. I was tempted to push him to the side, but I didn't. There weren't many of us getting off.

  9. Funny, I've heard so many of the same reactions! People don't give up seats often, but it definitely does happen. Always nice to see.

    The poster for November is up!