Subway Manners…For Aliens


Because seriously, unless you were raised by Mechagodzilla, how could you not know that headbutting a station employee, grabbing him by his necktie and drunk-pitching your beer in his face are not exactly recommended by Miss Manners?

(And if you were raised by aliens, expect a lump of coal in your next Xmas stocking if a wimpy poster convinces you to abandon your mission to obliterate all humans and grow organic kale instead.)

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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Published by Jonelle Patrick

Writes all the Japan things.

7 thoughts on “Subway Manners…For Aliens

  1. There’s a quick an easy answer: American Sailors. :\

    I saw this sign at a few stations and that’s the first thing I could think of.

    1. Is it a good or a bad thing that American sailors didn’t even cross my mind when I tried to imagine the audience for this? I did think huh, how did they come up with those particular offenses? Like, there must be incident reports somewhere, right? But the poster is purely in Japanese, so I figured the actual perps were Japanese hooligans (who would also be deterred not one second by a poster, DUH. Serious ignorance of the target audience lol.)

      1. Good? This could be my own experience or prejudices, but there are all sorts of issues here. The most recent incident I can remember is how a Sailor got drunk and beat up a lady in Roppongi. Lots of assaults of all kinds, unfortunately, and alcohol is what they mostly have in common. :\

      2. True, but what I find interesting is that when I went to search for what percentage of crimes in Japan are actually committed by foreigners, the only hard data I could find was that 78 foreigners were charged with violent crimes in the first half of 2015. And although data on the total number of violent crimes in that period varies according to source, the number appears to be in the thousands. In other words, foreigners are responsible for a tiny percentage of crimes committed in Japan, yet I found detailed police reports on just WHICH nationalities accounted for the most crimes, and NONE that included the numbers of J-perps. The media reporting is the same: crimes with foreign bad guys are reported far more widely than crimes with Japanese criminals, supporting the widespread prejudice that Foreigners Are Dangerous. (Sorry, this thing really gets my goat. No amount of data appears to make a dent in it!)

      3. That makes perfect sense to me. Japan has always been wary of outsiders, and putting gaijin crimes front and center will only reinforce those beliefs. Of course most crimes are committed by Japanese citizens: most of the people in Japan are Japanese. But it’s like tabloids or click-bait articles: emphasize the negatives to reinforce the audience’s beliefs. And the reason I’m more privy to crimes by Sailors is because every time some dumbass commits an assault or, as it has unfortunately happened, murder, it affects every American in Japan. We lose privileges to leave base, stay out late, drink, etc. We also wind up receiving more and more training, just beating a dead horse. The Navy is kind of backwards with that: one person commits a crime, everyone associated is punished. And, unfortunately, that association will stretch to the entire fleet out here.

      4. You nailed it, 100%. People remember one douchebag far more clearly than a hundred normal, nice people. Especially when that’s what they’re already expecting from foreigners. I’m sorry you’re getting lumped in with troublemaking navy yahoos. ugh.

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