{engrish} Helpful Signs in Tokyo

I came across these pictures I took in Japan that I had been meaning to post. It makes perfect sense that the nation that created the juggernaut that is the Hello Kitty diaspora would have so-cute-it’s-sick signage, even on the serious subway. Don’t they know about terr’ism?

The pictures are not all totally related beyond being roughly subway-related, so I will attempt to weave a compelling narrative around them so that they make sense as a grouping.

So many things in Japan are adorable when they needn’t/shouldn’t be. For example, on the subway, this chubby little bear, and the raccoon mommy and baby tell give you some safety advisories. I think these are a lot more fun than a regular boring old sign. And those raccoons are so cute I want to pet them even though if they were real they would probably eat garbage and have rabies. But they’re SO CUTE! And they don’t want you to hurt your hands! Awwww.

Many passengers on the subway wear surgical face masks- to protect themselves? others? both? Who knows. At any rate, keeping this in mind, the outside of the subway car does seem to be an advantageous location to market the super weird masks.

Ah- maybe they need the masks to protect themselves from smokers. Not so, if this despondent, unsmokable cigarette guy has the desired effect. He’s so sad to not be allowed to be smoked! Aw shucks. He’s puro Willy Loman with the hands in the pockets and the melancholy shuffle. It’s like Willy Loman were a cartoon cigarette.

If you use one of the shockingly clean and well-kept restrooms, found in each station, you may find a friendly little sign like this, letting you know that the toilet has a sensor and will flush itself. Ironically, the picture shows a western toilet whereas the actual toilets in the Tokyo metro stations are 100% squat-over-a-hole jobs, but you can still get the message. A-OK! I’ve got the flushing covered, baby!

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