Vintage Tokyo subway manner posters

09 Aug 2010

Here are a few manner posters that appeared in the Tokyo subways between 1976 and 1982.

Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Three annoying train monsters (October 1982)

The three annoying train monsters shown in the poster are Nesshii (the sleeping monster), Asshii (the leg-crossing monster), and Shinbunshii (the newspaper-reading monster).

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Don't throw chewing gum on the platform (September 1976)

Even Superman is no match for chewing gum discarded on the train platform.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
The Seat Monopolizer (July 1976)

Inspired by Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator," this poster encourages passengers not to take up more seat space than necessary.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Don't forget your umbrella (June 1977)

This poster of the high-class courtesan Agemaki (from the kabuki play "Sukeroku"), whose captivating beauty was said to make men forgetful, is meant to remind passengers to take their umbrellas when they leave the train.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Space Invader (March 1979)

This 1979 poster pays tribute to the extremely popular Space Invaders video arcade game and encourages passengers to read their newspapers without invading the space of other passengers.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Isami-ashi: Wait behind the white line (May 1979)

The image of sumo wrestlers locked in combat serves as a reminder for passengers to stand safely behind the white line when waiting for the train.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Don't forget your umbrella (October 1981)

The text at the top of this poster -- which shows Jesus overwhelmed with umbrellas at the Last Supper -- reads "Kasane-gasane no kami-danomi" (lit. "Wishing to God again and again"). The poster makes a play on the words "kasa" (umbrella) and "kasane-gasane" (again and again).

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Shimatta (March 1977)

This poster warns passengers against getting their shoulder bags caught in the train doors.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Coughing on the platform (January 1979)

Modeled after the paintings of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, this poster -- titled "Hōmu de Concon" (coughing on the platform) -- urges people not to smoke on the train platforms during the designated non-smoking hours (7:00-9:30 AM and 5:00-7:00 PM). The poster makes a play on the words "concon" (coughing sound) and "cancan" (French chorus line dance).

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Dream at home (December 1981)

This poster, which features Doraemon dressed as Santa, encourages Christmas and end-of-year drunks not to pass out on the train.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
The Non-Thinker (May 1981)

The image of a cross-legged version of Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker" aims to encourage passengers to sit in a way that is considerate of other passengers.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Kappa, (August 1979)

The image of a kappa (river imp) against a backdrop of lit cigarettes serves as a reminder not to smoke on the platform during the designated non-smoking hours (7:00-9:30 AM and 5:00-7:00 PM). The text at the top of the poster reads "Gaman gurai wa he no kappa," which translates loosely as "waiting is no big deal."

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Umbrellas left behind in the subway (June 1976)

This Marilyn Monroe poster aims to remind passengers to take their umbrellas with them when they leave the train. The text in the top right corner -- "Kaerazaru kasa" (umbrella of no return) -- is a play on "Kaerazaru Kawa," the Japanese title for "River of No Return," the 1954 movie starring Monroe.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
I'll stand up (July 1979)

Uesugi Teppei, a character from the popular manga "Ore wa Teppei," offers to give up his seat to the elderly and infirm.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Do not rush onto the train (April 1979)

This poster advises passengers not to rush onto the train at the last moment. The text (かけこみ禁寺) is a play on the words かけこみ禁止 (kakekomi kinshi - "don't rush onto the train") and かけこみ寺 (Kakekomi-dera - Kakekomi temple), which has long been known as a sanctuary for married women fleeing their husbands.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Clearly show your train pass (September 1978)

The image of Napoleon holding a partially concealed train pass is meant to remind passengers to clearly show their train passes to the station attendant when passing through the gates. The dictionary page in the background appears to be a reference to Napoleon's famous quote, "The word 'impossible' is not in my dictionary."

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Humans are forgetful (February 1976)

This poster, which reminds passengers to take their belongings when they leave the train, shows Astro Boy returning a forgotten hat and umbrella to his creator, Osamu Tezuka.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
When the bell chimes, it's too late (April 1977)

This poster, which depicts Cinderella rushing from the ball at the stroke of midnight, is meant to warn passengers against the danger of trying to rush into the train after the departure chime sounds.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Mary is tired (December 1977)

The image of Mary carrying baby Jesus aims to encourage passengers to give up their seats to mothers with small children.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
No smoking during non-smoking hours (October 1980)

The "Journey to the West" monkey urges passengers not to smoke on the platform during the designated non-smoking hours (7:00-9:30 AM and 5:00-7:00 PM).

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
You've had too much to drink (October 1976)

This October 1976 poster of a drinking Santa is addressed to the drunks on the train. The text, loosely translated, reads: "I look like Santa because you've had too much to drink. It's only October. If you drink, be considerate of the other passengers."

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Wasureemon (June 1980)

Doraemon offers a friendly reminder not to forget your umbrella. The text at the bottom is a suggestion to write your name, address and company name (or school name) on your possessions.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Marcel Marceau (October 1978)

Marcel Marceau gestures toward a priority seat reserved for elderly and handicapped passengers, expecting mothers, and passengers accompanying small children.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
I stepped in gum (March 1980)

The image of a cat stepping in gum is a playful twist on the popular children's song "Neko Funjatta" ("I Stepped on a Cat").

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Clearly show your train pass (September 1976)

This poster is a reminder for passengers to clearly show their train passes to the station attendant, even when they fly like Superman through the ticket gates.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Please open it (July 1977)

This poster of a melting snowman aims to encourage passengers seated near a window to let cool air in when it is hot inside.

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Vintage Japanese train manner poster --
Non-smoking Time (November 1982)

The image of John Wayne on a mock cover of Time magazine serves as a reminder not to smoke on the platform during non-smoking hours (7:00-9:30 AM and 5:00-7:00 PM).

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[Source: Manner Poster 100, published by Teito Rapid Transit Authority, 1983]

Animated map of nuclear explosions, 1945-1998

06 Aug 2010

Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto's "1945-1998" is an animated map showing the 2,053 nuclear explosions that took place around the world during the 20th century, from the detonations at Alamogordo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to the tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998.


+ Video: "1945-1998" by Isao Hashimoto

The month and year are displayed in top right corner, and the number of nuclear explosions for each country appear next to the flags in the margins. The total is displayed in the bottom right corner.

The numbers reveal that, on average, 1 nuclear explosion occurred every 9.6 days during the 54-year period, with the greatest activity in 1958 and 1962.

The time map does not include the two nuclear tests conducted by North Korea in October 2006 and May 2009, nor does it include the dozens of subcritical nuclear tests (explosions that do not produce a sustained nuclear chain reaction) conducted in recent years by the US/UK and Russia.

Video: Shizuoka Gundam time-lapse

04 Aug 2010


+ Video

This time-lapse video of the 18-meter (59-ft) Gundam robot in the city of Shizuoka, Japan is the latest in a series of YouTube uploads from Gundam videographer darwinfish105.

99 cute trademarked characters from Japan

03 Aug 2010

Here is a collection of 99 cute characters summoned from the depths of the Japanese Figure Trademark Database. These friendly critters appear in a variety of settings ranging from company logos and promotional materials to product packaging and advertising.

Cute Japanese character -- Kawaii Japanese character -- Cute Japanese mascot --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character -- Kawaii Japanese character --

Cute Japanese promotional character -- Cute Japanese idol -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese logo -- Kawaii Japanese promotional character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Kawaii Japanese character -- Cute Japanese promotional mascot --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese promotional character -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese idol -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese logo -- Kawaii Japanese promotional character -- Cute Japanese mascot --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese promotional character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese promotional character --

Cute Japanese promotional character -- Kawaii Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese idol -- Cute Japanese mascot --

Cute Japanese logo -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese promotional character -- Kawaii Japanese promotional character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese idol -- Cute Japanese promotional mascot --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese promotional character -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Kawaii Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese logo -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese logo -- Cute Japanese idol -- Cute Japanese mascot --

Cute Japanese promotional character -- Kawaii Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese logo -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

Cute Japanese promotional character -- Kawaii Japanese character -- Cute Japanese promotional mascot --

Cute Japanese logo -- Cute Japanese character -- Cute Japanese character --

This collection represents only a small portion of the figurative trademarks found in the Japanese Figure Trademark Database. To explore the contents, go to the search page and plug in the Vienna Classification category numbers for the type of figure you would like to see.

The database does not provide explanatory information about the characters, nor does it indicate the names of the companies that employ them.

[Thanks to Japanese Trademarks for pointing the way!]

Telenoid R1 minimalist humanoid robot

02 Aug 2010

Researchers from Osaka University have teamed up with the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (ATR) to develop a minimalist humanoid robot that recreates the physical presence of a remote user.

Telenoid humanoid robot --

Named "Telenoid R1," the teleoperated communication robot measures 80 centimeters (31 in) tall and weighs 5 kilograms (11 lbs). The portable machine features a soft silicone body that is pleasant to the touch, and it uses 9 actuators to move its eyes, mouth, head and rudimentary limbs.

Telenoid humanoid robot -- Telenoid humanoid robot --
Data is transmitted between the user and robot via Internet connection

The Telenoid R1 robot is designed to add an element of realism to long-distance communication by recreating the physical presence of the remote user. The robot's actions mirror those of the remote user, whose movements are monitored by real-time face tracking software on the user's computer. Users can also transmit their voice through the robot's embedded speakers.

Telenoid humanoid robot --
Telenoid R1 with Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro (Osaka University)

The Telenoid R1 is endowed with only the most basic human features -- just enough to recreate the physical presence of the remote user, according to robot's creators. The robot's androgynous and ageless look makes it suitable for a wide range of users, whether they are male, female, young or old.

Telenoid humanoid robot --
English lessons can be conducted via the Telenoid R1 robot

At the unveiling in Osaka on August 1, the developers announced plans to begin selling two versions of the minimalist humanoid in October. The high-end model will be priced at about 3 million yen ($35,000), and a cheaper model will be available for about 700,000 yen ($8,000).

Here's a short video demonstration.

[Sources: Telenoid, AFP, Yomiuri]

Macabre kids’ book art by Gojin Ishihara

26 Jul 2010

Here is a collection of wonderfully weird illustrations by Gōjin Ishihara, whose work graced the pages of numerous kids' books in the 1970s. The first 16 images below appeared in the "Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters" (1972), which profiled supernatural creatures from Japanese legend. The other illustrations appeared in various educational and entertainment-oriented publications for children.

Illustration by Gōjin Ishihara --
- Kappa (river imp), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Jorōgumo (lit. "whore spider"), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Gōjin Ishihara --
- Kubire-oni (strangler demon), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Goujin Ishihara --
- Rokurokubi (long-necked woman), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Goujin Ishihara --
- Onmoraki (bird demon), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Nekomata (cat monster), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Gōjin Ishihara --
- Tengu (bird-like demon), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Tenjō-sagari (ceiling dweller), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Enma Dai-Ō (King of Hell), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Kyūbi no kitsune (nine-tailed fox), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Baku (dream-eating chimera), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- YÅ«rei (ghost), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Gōjin Ishihara --
- Yamasei (mountain sprite), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Goujin Ishihara --
- Rashōmon no oni (ogre of Rashōmon Gate), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Waira (mountain-dwelling chimera), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Nure-onna (snake woman), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Hell of Repetition (Illustrated Book of Hell, 1975)

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Burning Hell (Illustrated Book of Hell, 1975)

Illustration by Gōjin Ishihara --
- Demons of the Orient (The Complete Book of Demons, 1974)

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- The appearance of Satan (The Complete Book of Demons, 1974)

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Gorgon (Illustrated Book of World Monsters, 1973)

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Aliens in ancient Japan (Mysteries of the World, 1970)

Illustration by Goujin Ishihara --
- Alien (Mysteries of the World, 1970)

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Emergency Command 10-4 10-10 (sonosheet book, 1972)

Illustration by Gōjin Ishihara --
- Emergency Command 10-4 10-10 (sonosheet book, 1972)

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Kaiketsu Lion-Maru (sonosheet book, 1972)

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Kaiketsu Lion-Maru (sonosheet book, 1972)

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Prehistoric man as modern-day baseball player (Prehistoric Man, 1970)

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Prehistoric man as modern-day wrestler (Prehistoric Man, 1970)

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Prehistoric man as modern-day security guard (Prehistoric Man, 1970)

Illustration by Gōjin Ishihara --
- The secretary who spied for 18 years (from Spy Wars)

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- World's biggest glutton (World's Greatest Wonders, 1971)

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Precognition of plane crash (Mysteries of the Body, 1973)

Illustration by Gojin Ishihara --
- Nostradamus (Psychics of the World, 1974)

Illustration by Goujin Ishihara --
- Frozen planet (Year X: End of the World, 1975)

Illustration by Gōjin Ishihara --
Dark star gravity (Year X: End of the World, 1975)

[Link: Gōjin Fechi]

iDish for iPad

23 Jul 2010

While the iPad may or may not revolutionize the way we consume media, it does have the potential to enhance the way we eat.

iDish -- iDish --
"Let's start a new life with iDish"

Introducing iDish, a new concept by iPad enthusiast shiinaneko that transforms the device into a versatile dinner plate.

iDish -- iDish --
Ideal for sushi

To use the iPad as an iDish, simply perform a Google image search to find your dish of choice. For a nice selection of sushi dishes, try searching for "sashimi" and "dish" (刺身, 皿). Display and resize the image, and you are ready to eat.

iDish -- iDish --
Aji (horse mackerel) on iDish

The iPhone/iPod Touch can also be used as an iDish. The compact size is suitable for soy sauce or small servings of tofu.

iDish -- iDish --
iPhone as iDish

Of course, iDish is also suitable for cuisines other than Japanese.

iDish -- iDish --
Curry rice and shumai dumplings on iDish

The possibilities are endless.

[Link: shiinaneko]

The Japanese Tradition – Apologizing

21 Jul 2010

"Shazai (謝罪)" -- from "The Japanese Tradition" series of videos by Japan Culture Lab -- is a useful and entertaining guide to the art of apologetic bowing.


+ Video

The video provides techniques and tips for the entire spectrum of bows, from the commonplace shallow bow (for casual apologies) to the various forms of ojigi (for serious apologies) -- including the long ojigi (used when apologizing to the public for a scandal or product recall) and the perpetual ojigi (to express determination). Also explained is the kneeling bow (used predominantly by ninjas), the grovelling dogeza bow (used when you are unequivocally in the wrong, such as when "caught red-handed in an orgy of evil"), the momentous doge-fuse bow (for the ultimate apology), and the doge-umari bow (the final straw).

Floating point: Tokyo time-lapse

15 Jul 2010

"Floating point," the latest Tokyo time-lapse video by photographer Samuel Cockedey, features views of Rainbow Bridge, Shinagawa station, Ikebukuro, Ochanomizu, and Tsukishima.


+ Video