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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Seventies Japanese Subway Etiquette Posters

Looks like the Japanese have a history of being very creative (perhaps sometimes too creative) with their posters on how to behave on the subway.

Thanks to
@BlaiseGV, I came across some excellent 'vintage' posters of Tokyo Subway manners.

I'll leave you to try to guess what they are really represent (or you can click through to the link to find out), but here's my initial thoughts:

Warning Ninja Nuns on Board?

Warning Ninja Nuns on Board - April 1979

Beware of Charlie Chaplin impersonators

Beware of Charlie Chaplin impersonators - July 1976

Transformers will turn you into monsters if you behave incorrectly.

Transformers will turn you into monsters if you behave incorrectly.

The last one is actually from 1982 but was my personal favourite.

Compare these to "Please do this at home" campaign from 2008 and you'll see the Japanese have now gone for a more obvious approach. It must be a difficult balance from being clear & literal & maybe a touch patronising, to being so creative & running the risk of few understanding what you're trying to say.

Do you think these would work on the London Underground? Have you seen any posters which you think are too cryptic?


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