The Seat Monopolizer
August 10, 2010 9:43 AM   Subscribe

The three annoying train monsters shown in the poster are Nesshii (the sleeping monster), Asshii (the leg-crossing monster), and Shinbunshii (the newspaper-reading monster). Tokyo Subway Manner Posters, '76-'82
posted by griphus (55 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite

 
Damn... those are some stylish posters. Thanks for the link.
posted by codacorolla at 9:47 AM on August 10, 2010


Pink Tentacle is the shit. They consistently post such great stuff.
posted by defenestration at 9:48 AM on August 10, 2010


Uesugi Teppei is really excited about giving up his seat for the elderly and infirm.
posted by theodolite at 9:51 AM on August 10, 2010


That's really cool. I love subway posters that are more creative that Si ves algo, di algo.

Can someone give me the lowdown on Neko Funjatta, referenced below the poster of the cat stepping on gum? Transliterated lyrics here.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:51 AM on August 10, 2010


They could license some of these to a few other transit systems I've used. NYC Subway, meet the Seat Monopolizer.
posted by ambrosia at 9:53 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I look like Santa because you've had too much to drink. It's only October."
posted by EvaDestruction at 9:56 AM on August 10, 2010


The last Supper table with a pile of forgotten umbrellas? That's goooood.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:56 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm kind of surprised that the "space invaders" pun works in Japanese.
posted by penduluum at 10:01 AM on August 10, 2010


One of my favorite scenes in Kontroll (the single best subway movie ever) involves a young woman in a bear suit silently shaming a kid into giving up a seat for an old man.
posted by griphus at 10:03 AM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Semi-hitler on a poster in Japan seems a little...risque. But most of them are really awesome.
posted by DU at 10:06 AM on August 10, 2010


Very stylish! Those posters make you stop and appreciate the art (along with the message). Around here the public service posters only manage to invoke inchoate rage.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:07 AM on August 10, 2010


Not a word about the 64% of young women groped on the subway.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:11 AM on August 10, 2010


Jesus wasn't black, he was asian.
posted by Groovytimes at 10:11 AM on August 10, 2010


Leftover umbrellas must really be a problem in Tokyo.
posted by yhbc at 10:11 AM on August 10, 2010


Casual treatment of Hitler/Nazi themes in East Asia is nothing new, DU. There was a Japanese-run punk shop across the street from my old store in the East Village that got into shit for selling assorted Nazi crap. I knew the guys, and they were not crypto-Nazis or anti-Semites by far.
posted by griphus at 10:13 AM on August 10, 2010


Oh, yeah, DU, you should hit 4chan's cosplay boards and some other stuff. The juxtaposition of Japanese girls doing the cutesy-winky expression, plus hand gesture, combined with their SS costumes, well, it's a different country. "So adorable, so Nazi, but not so minxy."
posted by adipocere at 10:16 AM on August 10, 2010


One of my sisters has lived in Japan on and off for the last 30 years. She told me once that the worst thing on the trains was the men who sat looking at hardcore porn and did not give up their seats to old ladies, pregnant moms, handicapped people etc.
posted by mareli at 10:26 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


yhbc: "Leftover umbrellas must really be a problem in Tokyo."

Maybe they should introduce this style over there and allow traditional carrying methods...
posted by PontifexPrimus at 10:26 AM on August 10, 2010


I wasn't even really thinking of the crypto-nazi/anti-semite thing so much as HELLO, AXIS POWER
posted by DU at 10:27 AM on August 10, 2010


I already knew that selfish horrible monsters could be adorable—I have kids!
posted by Mister_A at 10:34 AM on August 10, 2010


I've never seen anyone looking at hard-core porn on a train, although tabloids with "page 3 girls" are pretty popular, as are weekly or sports magazines that feature photoshoots with young women in bikinis, which may shock some western sensibilities. Casually perusing skin mags in public places is not really considered all that polite in Japan.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:39 AM on August 10, 2010


Holy crap is this site awesome:

Ceiling Dweller is watching you masturbate and will eat you when you fall asleep. But never fear! After seeing this you'll never sleep again. Or how about a tank that is also two tanks that has a drill that can shoot missiles. And...well, I don't know what the fuck this is. Also: Zombie Meat.

Japan, I love you, never change...but stay the fuck on the other side of the world until I can psych myself up enough to visit you.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:39 AM on August 10, 2010


...what's wrong with crossing your legs?
posted by Shepherd at 10:41 AM on August 10, 2010


"So adorable, so Nazi, but not so minxy."

I wasn't even really thinking of the crypto-nazi/anti-semite thing so much as HELLO, AXIS POWER

Wait, are people really not getting the reference to "The Great Dictator"?
posted by ambrosia at 10:44 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Great post and great idea. I only wish they'd had some posters to tell drunk twentysomethings not to fall asleep on the PATH trains when I was living in Jersey City a few years ago.
posted by immlass at 10:46 AM on August 10, 2010


Could you tell a bird not to fly, immlass? A fish not to swim?
posted by griphus at 10:48 AM on August 10, 2010


Not a word about the 64% of young women groped on the subway.

In some cases they've gone further than posters for this, there's actually 'women's only' train cars on certain lines. The problems the posters deal with can't really be addressed that way and deal with etiquette rather than assault.
posted by Kirk Grim at 10:51 AM on August 10, 2010


And...well, I don't know what the fuck this is.

That, sir, is my new desktop background.
posted by cmoj at 10:52 AM on August 10, 2010


Brilliant post griphus! No need to read Japanese to grasp the universal messages.
posted by drogien at 10:53 AM on August 10, 2010


And...well, I don't know what the fuck this is.

That's a phone booth. Back before everyone had mobiles, you had to go to this little glass room on the street and put "money" (coins) into a little slot and then dial the number of the entity you wanted to speak with.
posted by Mister_A at 10:57 AM on August 10, 2010


...what's wrong with crossing your legs?

@Shepherd: crossing your legs takes up extra room on the train. It's usually pretty crowded, so that is considered rude.
posted by garnetgirl at 10:57 AM on August 10, 2010


Beautiful work. The explanation of some of the more obscure references is wonderful.
posted by benzenedream at 11:12 AM on August 10, 2010


That's a phone booth. Back before everyone had mobiles, you had to go to this little glass room on the street and put "money" (coins) into a little slot and then dial the number of the entity you wanted to speak with.

And to think that all this time I've thought it was just A GLASS BOX OF EMOTION.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:17 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


weekly or sports magazines that feature photoshoots with young women in bikinis, which may shock some western sensibilities

I am shocked, SHOCKED, to find photos of young women in bikinis in a sports magazine.

Wait, are people really not getting the reference to "The Great Dictator"?

Are you not getting the reference of The Great Dictator?
posted by DU at 11:27 AM on August 10, 2010


Does it make a difference if it's a reference to the movie or to the real thing?
posted by smackfu at 11:50 AM on August 10, 2010


This is fantastic. Very grateful for the explanations!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:52 AM on August 10, 2010


I have to create the "courtesy" messages for BART--I don't get to do anything nearly this cool so I'm filled with envy. The best poster I got to do was an anti-terrorism message that I borrowed from the London Underground (with their permission) that was just a creepy floating pair of eyes and the message "Bomb Detectors."
posted by agatha_magatha at 12:00 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I believe women-only rail cars in Japan date back to the 20s (they fell out of favour for many years and then had a resurgence).
posted by stinkycheese at 12:02 PM on August 10, 2010


This was back in the '90s, but I can say that I have certainly seen many men reading some pretty explicit manga on trains in Japan.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:56 PM on August 10, 2010


Okay, let me explain. The Japanese title of the film The Great Dictator is 独裁者 (Dokusaisha). The text on the poster is 独占者 (dokusensha), meaning "hog; bogarter; person who takes all of something for themselves", or maybe to preserve the pun, "The Great Seat-Taker."

So it's two steps removed from actual Hitler: the movie, and then the pun. You can argue that it's still in poor taste, but it's not just a random reference. And come on — Chaplin!
posted by No-sword at 1:27 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I love Jesus at the last supper looking all forlorn with an armful of umbrellas. Don't leave your umbrellas for Jesus to clean up! Jesus ain't your mama.
posted by Colonel_Chappy at 1:30 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Awesome.
posted by koeselitz at 1:37 PM on August 10, 2010


Interesting that none of them are about men fondling women they don't know. That's a serious enough problem that a lot of trains now have a women-only car at one end.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:00 PM on August 10, 2010


The umbrella thing, while I wouldn't call it "serious" is at absurd levels. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Lost and Found Center is something like four levels, plus a basement. The basement level? Umbrellas. Just umbrellas.

Resembling some sort of Salvation Army superstore, its basement is as big as four basketball courts and set aside only for umbrellas -- of which 300,000 were stacked to the ceiling last year -- about 3,200 for each rainy day.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:15 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Chocolate Pickle, this is a set of posters selected for comic value. Of course there are none in the set about groping. If there were, people would be getting their outrage on at the insufficiently serious attitude towards the problem such posters would represent.

For all you or I know, these were up alongside non-funny posters that said "GROPING IS A CRIME," and in any case, posters saying exactly this have been posted on the trains for at least a decade now. The problem is not solved, but it is being taken seriously.
posted by No-sword at 3:29 PM on August 10, 2010


Er, posted in train stations at least. I'm not sure if there are any on the actual trains.
posted by No-sword at 3:30 PM on August 10, 2010


Also, these posters are from the late 1970s and early 1980s; social awareness of groping on the subway was not nearly as high as it is now. (Even now, most reported chikan incidents occur on the suburban lines that run into the city.)
posted by armage at 4:04 PM on August 10, 2010


And these posters are great -- better than Tokyo Metro's current run of "やろう" posters.
posted by armage at 4:05 PM on August 10, 2010


Interesting that none of them are about men fondling women they don't know.

Allow me to state, categorically and for the record, that I only fondle women that I know, and in most cases know well, when I ride the Tokyo Metro lines.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:39 PM on August 10, 2010


The current run of posters in Osaka is done in a "retro theater" style. (You can click on the poster thumbnail to see a larger PDF version that opens in a new window.)
posted by emmling at 4:42 PM on August 10, 2010


Thirding the experience of men reading graphic porn and manga on the train, I have seen this many times.
posted by Wantok at 7:16 PM on August 10, 2010


Really wonderful posters. Such an imaginative, humorous way to request better manners.

What a pity they got banal when it came to smokers. But there is a sort of ominous haiku charm to them too.

New York artist, JAYSHELLS, created his own collection of Subway etiquette posters. Bluntly funny in their own way.
posted by nickyskye at 10:15 PM on August 12, 2010


4thing. My first time noticing the guy with the porn: Totally normal looking guy in a suit, reading a bondage porn (pictures, not drawings) magazine with an old woman to one side, and an elementary school girl to his left. Blah-blah different taboos blah blah, it's still pretty fucked up.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:27 AM on August 13, 2010


FWIW, there are still posts like this in the Tokyo metro, but much gentler, saying something like "do it at home..." and including eating, putting your bags on the next seat, keeping your
legs spread, and, if memory serves, making out?

The all-women cars are fantastic. I never had a problem being groped in the normal cars, but I love that the women's cars didn't smell like booze, cigarettes, and skanky BO in suits when I needed the last train back from Tokyo at night.

Man, I want to go home still...
posted by whatzit at 11:52 AM on August 15, 2010


but I love that the women's cars didn't smell like booze, cigarettes, and skanky BO in suits when I needed the last train back from Tokyo at night

Yeah.....sorry about that.
posted by Kirk Grim at 1:28 PM on August 16, 2010


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