Japanese subway etiquette poster campaign

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I like the art and colors of these Japanese subway posters that remind people to be considerate of others. However, I think it is fun to watch people apply makeup in public. It's like watching someone paint, which I enjoy.

Japanese subway etiquette poster campaign

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  1. The best of these is “Please do it at the beach,” in regard to surfing/sliding into a train whose doors are about to shut.

  2. It is not very clear, from those signs, if it is bad to fall drunk in the metro, or to disturb people that are sleeping on metro floor.

  3. The thing about makeup on public transportation — unless there’s sufficient room — is that it’s hard to avoid getting some of it into the air, and some folks have allergies. Other than that, if people don’t mind being watched painting themselves, I have no objection to watching them apply paint.

    Though (a) watching someone apply mascara on a moving vehicle always makes me flinch (you’re putting pointing things near your eye on something that may suddenly shift?), and (b) in many cases, unless it’s makeup to mask a _serious_ defect, or is done far more subtly than most non-actors manage, I usually think people look better without. Dramatic makeup can be eye-catching, but I don’t usually find it _attractive_… at least not until it gets up to stage level again and I can admire the effect as a serious artwork.

  4. I’m probably old-fashioned, but I don’t like watching people apply make-up in public. I can appreciate the need for a quick touch-up of lipstick or running your hand through your hair to neaten it, but basically, anything you’d do at home in your bathroom is something that shouldn’t be done in public. It’s not really a logical thing … just etiquette. It’s like taking your hat off indoors.

    I especially don’t care for the idea of make-up tools being flourished in public — the foundation pad with bits of skin flakes and oil, the powder brush that’s depositing cakey particles into the air.

    Plus, I’d say it’s downright dangerous. On the streetcar, which is prone to sudden stopping, I’ve nervously watched a lot of women open themselves to the danger of poking an eye out with a mascara wand or pencil.

  5. If you look closely, the “no putting on makeup” sign is shows the woman putting on perfume and powder and releasing lots of crap into the air. Eye liner, lipstick etc, are no problem.

    Can’t count the number of times I’ve seen women in Japan putting eye liner -inside their lashes- on a moving train. As a man who works a lot with precision tools, this still boggles my mind.

    I appreciate the results though.

  6. The illustration of the man sprawled on the floor made me think of the Aum Shinrikyo sarin attacks before I realized that he was actually supposed to be drunk. I suppose the “please do it at home” tag might apply to recreational nerve gas use, but still …

    Incidentally, based on my experience of Tokyo, a single drunk is a rarity. It would be more realistic to show a group, all wearing their business suits, with the least intoxicated members doing their best to support the most intoxicated and stop them from walking into traffic or falling over anything that could hurt them.

  7. The ‘disapproving observers’ in the background look creepy with those dead eyes. Apparently there is a race of mole people in the Japanese tube system who pop up from unexpected quarters to deliver a quick tut before scurrying back into the dark.

  8. I like how all the dead eyed and unapproving figures in the background look like Chris Ware characters. I like to imagine their general tut tutting is borne of a deep unspoken resentment and jealousy of their younger, fitter, more attractive and desirable commuters.

  9. Meh I’ve had to apply make-up in all kinds of places. It hardly seems private to me. It’s an annoying thing that I’d rather not have to do anyway. But that being said I think the point is that she’s releasing all the powders and stuff in the air which then gets on people’s hair or clothes, as well as in their faces, and that’s why it’s rude. Nothing like getting an eye full of perfume inadvertently sprayed at you.

    As for what people should do where for some abstract privacy reason… wow… creepy. I never look at people like that. Short of projectile body fluids I basically couldn’t care less what my fellow travelers are doing. In fact I rarely notice individuals at all, I just sort of see them as obstacles to walk around.

    1. *shrug* Like I said, it’s not really logical. More like a dated etiquette thing, sort of like actually standing back and *holding* a door for someone, or

      What is an “abstract privacy reason”? I contributed what I thought was a good rule of thumb, if people wanted to figure out what’s “polite” (for lack of a better word) to do in public.

      And I compared it to taking off your hat indoors. It’s just nice. Kind of dated, but nice. It makes things seem more civilized and put-together.

      You want to keep doing what you do — go ahead. I’m not going to give you a dirty look (ok, maybe I will, if you’re getting powder in my face) or lobby for a bylaw or something.

      Doesn’t change how I feel about it.

      1. I guess I cut off my own comment. That’s supposed to read: “More like a dated etiquette thing, sort of like actually standing back and *holding* a door for someone, or standing up when someone enters the room.”

        Another thing I’d compare it to is exposing your bra strap. Yeah, technically I really don’t care, especially if you do it, and I sure don’t think you’re a strollop or something. But I try not to let it happen to me because I think I look neater that way.

        Anyway, I don’t even wear make-up. “Annoying thing you’d rather not do anyway”? Who says you gotta? Is it a requirement of your job?

        1. That’s supposed to read: “More like a dated etiquette thing, sort of like actually standing back and *holding* a door for someone, or standing up when someone enters the room.”

          Just for the record, I’m in my 20’s and continue to do both for women in public. It’s a sign of respect IMO, and most, if not all women have been gracious about it and seemed thankful.

          Another thing I’d compare it to is exposing your bra strap.

          Just curious, how old are you?

  10. I’ve spent the past few years commuting from Amsterdam to Leiden in the Netherlands and saw a lot of makeup being applied. That doesn’t bother me much but when people start clipping their nails there is some fine line that I think is being crossed… That, and people munching down on sandwiches right next to me so I have to keep wiping the crumbs off of my keyboard are the worst things about the trains.

  11. Would you advocate people shaving on the subway, too?

    Don’t laugh–I’ve seen a guy do it several times. It’s kind of gross, he uses a bottle of water to wash out his razor. On the floor.

    Personal grooming, including makeup, should be kept at home.

  12. Strangely enough it’s often foul smelling old geezers who disapprove of women doing make-up in the subway. (I’m certainly not saying any of you are smelling evil, it’s just an observation I made in Japanese subways.)
    I personally prefer sitting next to a woman doing her make-up routine very much to sitting next to an old man who will pretend to fall asleep so his head can rest “accidentally” on my shoulder. Gross.

  13. Er, anyone notice that the “After” image still shows the same disapproving bystander? Just no pleasing some people.

  14. What are the little plus signs around the woman’s head in the “before” picture? Does she have a positive electrical charge that she needs makeup to neutralize?

  15. I’m confused by the one in the middle row, right. At first glance, it seems to suggest that one should yield one’s seat to someone who obviously needs it more, i.e., the guy on crutches. But then what does “do it at home” mean? Ignore the handicapped or injured in your own home? And why is the seated couple eating hearts? How does that relate?

    Only eat the torn-out hearts of your enemies at home, away from the prying eyes of those on crutches…

  16. Mascara is tough to get out of a white dress shirt, and foundation is hard to get out of suit trousers. Please don’t make up on transit, especially if it’s crowded.

  17. The “Please refrain from drunken behavior” poster would be more realistic if there was at least one puddle of vomit on the platform. And I’m still waiting for the poster about having one’s “train accident” at home rather than subjecting everyone else to an hour-long delay…

    I think a better slogan for this etiquette campaign would be, “Here, add this to your repertoire of annoyingly self-absorbed actions while in a crowded public place where you’re really not afforded the luxury of being so oblivious.”

  18. Cute! And that draws the eye, which makes the message stronger. I always thought the LA Metro etiquette signs were lovely…wish I could find some examples online.

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