May 22

Attention, Rude People With White Canes!

Stop hitting people’s luggage when you’re trying to make your way down the subway platform!

OK, not really. But if I didn’t read Japanese, I might think this new campaign on the part of the Manners Police was aimed at sight-challenged individuals. In fact, it’s admonishing clueless commuters not to block the strip of yellow bumps that guide blind people from one place to the other.

Posters nagging subway riders about etiquette are a fixture of Tokyo subways, frowning on everything from using an eyelash crimper on a moving train to passing out dead drunk on the floor. Until I saw this series though, they all depicted young people making old people put on their mad faces. Just once I’d like to see posters showing a clueless grandma in too-loud earphones  blasting the teenager sitting next to her with vintage enka tunes…

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car with two strangers. But the more Yumi Hata learns about her friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more