‘Make Up — Image Down’ : Japanese train advertisements

“Make Up — Image Down”©
Yesterday, my friend, Miya-san, snapped this photo of advertisement on a Tokyo train platform promoting better public transport manners. In this case, the poster is admonishing young women not to trowel on their heavy, kabuki-like make-up while riding on Japan’s jostling, overcrowded commuter trains.

Make Up, Image Down - Japanese train advertisement

A year ago I wrote about what is perceived here as problems with, Japanese manners on the trainseyelash tortures. The MSN-Mainichi News editorialized about: “a woman, aged around 30, boarding the Metro subway at the first stop on the line. Once seated, she promptly went to work on her eyelashes using a hinged metal device that resembled a pair of pliers, or perhaps a dentist’s tool used for tooth extractions….a device, which applies pressure to make the lashes curl upward….

JT campaigns for public manners
Although I see these campaigns for public “manners” as rather amusing, older Japanese attach importance to them, much to the mystification of younger folks here.

Oddly, this “Make Up — Image Down” poster seems to be part of “Smokin’ Clean©” / “Smoking Manners©” campaigns of Japan Tobacco Inc (JT). I don’t really understand the connection of slathering on pancake makeup in a public and the quasi-public monopoly, JT, but for many years they have been running these hinky, green-on-white, bilingual ads with some effect. That is, Japan has the world’s politest chainsmokers—Many even carry around their own pocket ashtrays.


The CombiBento blog has set up a gallery of many of these weirdo “Smoking Manners” posters: “Let the hilarity ensue.”

Japan Tobacco Corporation's bilingual ads

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I'm a pale, alien, quadruped who has worked for 25+ years at "Maybe-the-Largest Inc." in Tokyo.

3 thoughts on “‘Make Up — Image Down’ : Japanese train advertisements”

  1. Main complaint is why doing make-up deserves censure ahead of being drunk. More videos are planned, so there will likely be more targets.

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