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Subway Manners…For Aliens

SubwayManners

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.)

After riding the subway without incident, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

“A genuinely gripping crime thriller which wrong-foots and perplexes the reader throughout, drawing us in emotionally . . . Highly recommended.” Raven Crime Reads

Nine Years. Nine death anniversaries. Tomorrow will be the tenth. He always comes early to avoid crossing paths with her family. He always comes on the day he actually killed her…read more

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

7 thoughts on “Subway Manners…For Aliens Leave a comment

  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.

    • 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.)

      • 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. :\

      • 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!)

      • 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.

      • 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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