The back story of the "Do It At Home" campaign on the Tokyo subway appeared in the Japan Times this weekend.
Since April 2008 a monthly poster has appeared in the 168 Tokyo Metro stations and on the 3,300 train carriages of its nine underground lines.
Previously the posters have featured a young woman applying her make up on the trains and talking on her mobile phone. Other targets have been drunks sprawled over the seats, young people taking up too much room and a commuter shaking their umbrella over fellow travelers on the stairs.
The man responsible for the striking manga-like designs is 35-year-old Bunpei Yorifuji, a fan of American artist Edward Hopper and ukiyo-e master Hokusai. Yorifuji bases his monthly designs on common complaints made to Tokyo Metro's Customer Relations Center (Tel: 03-3941-2030).
Two mainstays of the campaign are a disgruntled man and woman - the pair with large opaque glasses - who represent the average law-abiding Tokyo commuter. Yorifuji refers to them as a married couple: "The glasses obfuscate the emotion and better reflect the discomfort," he adds.
Yorifuji's work is now so popular it is the subject of spoofs such as the one below from hitotoki.
Tokyo Metro has been running its "manner poster" campaign since 1974.
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Japanese phones Tokyo subway
Wednesday, June 24, 2009