“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.
A year ago I wrote about what is perceived here as problems with, Japanese manners on the trains. 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….“
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.”