Tokyo subway poster: that's not Santa, you're just drunk

According to WrascalBC's translation on this Vintage Ads post, the text on this Tokyo subway poster reads, "I look like Santa because you've had too much to drink. It's only October. If you drink, be considerate of the other passengers."

I'm not as merry as I seem....


  1. Wait… they have Christmas in Japan? And Santa rides the subway?

    Also: If your subway is better than a sleigh pulled by magic flying reindeer, it must be damn good.

    1. They love Christmas in Japan as a secular holiday. It’s all about the trappings and being a kind of third Valentine’s day – ideally you’re still together with the girl who gave you Valentine chocolate and whose chocolate you returned on White Day and you spend Christmas Eve together and it’s the most romantic thing evar. And maybe the extra gifts will boost the morbid economy and the lovelove will boost the morbid birth rate.

      And of course Santa rides the subway. Everyone rides the subway!

      1. @oldtaku
        They do have Christmas in Japan as more than just the romantic holiday I used to think it was. I listened to a radio show where they were reading letters from listeners about their favorite Christmas memories, and there were lots of childhood stories about leaving wine(!) and cookies for Santa, getting the present that was asked for, finding out Santa was actually the parents, and several stories about finding a “thanks for the snacks” letter from Santa (in painstakingly written English). There were plenty of examples of it being celebrated as a day for family bonding, so now I think that it definitely has more than merely a “lovers’ holiday” aspect to it.

        @ the anon who mentioned merchants selling Christmas trees in October, note that this ad is from 1976, so Christmas in October was probably not in practice then.

  2. This would be a better ad if Japanese merchants weren’t putting up Christmas trees and lights and selling Christmas items before Halloween. It’s not as if Christmas crap isn’t around in October anyway.

  3. The Japanese is more casual than the translation would suggest. The most interesting bit is the difference between “yo” in katakana and in hiragana. IMO it’s like that to indicate a difference in intonation. “anta, sorya nomisugi da yo” has a kind of falling intonation. It’s the sort of little point you’d never find in a grammar book.

Comments are closed.