crime

English graffiti 'Hack' grounds bullet train

118 Comments

The Tanigawa 401 bullet train, bound for Echigo Yuzawa on the Joetsu Shinkansen Line, was forced to cancel its departure from Tokyo Station Tuesday morning after the English word "Hack," spelled out in red, white and blue colors, was found painted on the side of car No. 2 over 4-5 meters. Some 500 people were inconvenienced, according to media reports.

According to the Shizuoka Shimbun, the discovery was made around 5 a.m. at the JR marshalling yard in Tokyo's Kita Ward while the train was undergoing a routine pre-run inspection. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police department is investigating it as a case of property damage.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


118 Comments
Login to comment

Awesome, nowadays graffitti can be considered as an artform. While it would have been nice to get permission beforehand, or at least ask if it was o.k. to do this, in the end no harm no foul.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No foul eh? This isn't New York, RJD. Cleaning that crap off the train, plus the lost revenues, will probably exceed 1 million yen. To make the punishment fit the crime, I respectully suggest JR arrange to place the offender's hand on the track and the train be used to amputate it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bloody foreigners! It couldn't have been Japanese kids could most of them can't spell 'hack'!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

property damage.

shouldn't that be 'vandalism'?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rjd_jr- so then you wouldn't mind if I came over to your house/apartment and wrote wonderful grafitti all over the walls? Love how JT adds the silly fact that it was "English" grafitti. Now let's sit back and watch the S***storm over the insinuation that the guilty party may have been a foreigner.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is obviously a manufacturing error. In the old days, military aircraft used to be stencilled with "Cut Here." This was for emergency crews cutting out the crew after an accident. I would assume "Hack" is the Japanese equivalent, however, some moron stencilled it on the inside instead of the outside of carriage :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, I also loved the fact that 'English' had to be the first word in the title, as if Japanese grafitti would not have inconvenienced anyone.

rjd: I'm surprised you didn't say 'Oh just wait for everyone to blah blah blah'. But then again, your stance changes like the weather.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Depends hoserfella, I personally wouldn't mind but my apartment manager would. And it has to be artisitic, no old english gang style garbage. But hey, what else is JT supposed to call graffiti called 'Hack,' Mandarin or Burmese? Clearly it is Engish letter and words, and this IS a bullet train, quite unusual to see a bullet train of all trains targeted so yea it's pretty big news in my eyes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Serendity has a good point, the suspects in this case are obviously non-Japanese because the locals are confused with any word that is longer than three letters. On the other hand, if "PEN" or "CAT" had been written instead of "HACK," this would obviously be a Japanese crime.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rjd_jr, If you truly thought a foreigner did this , you'd be screaming bloody hell. On another note, the offender may have been protesting the writing skills of the JT hacks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Might be a foreigners, guess the ID-checks on foreigners prior to the G8 summit don't work that well.

Bunch of bollocks. A new import to japan would NOT know how to get into the yard where the train is stored. And I guess Japanese are too dumb to copy 4 english letters and google their meaning.

You guess need to read more grafitti out there, examples been on the increase for years.

Great thinking guys.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are you sure this wasn't a Japanese attempt to spell f***?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I imagine the artist/vandal who did this couldn't be happier that they actually delayed the train because of the graffiti. If they had just run the train and painted it over when they had a chance, only people in the stations where it stopped would have known, but now here we are discussing it. I can't imagine the paint posed any safety issue, unless it was on the windshield.

The greatest thing that can happen to a tagger is for the general public to take notice. Mission accomplished.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Isn't "hack" the name of a manga? maybe that caused this horrible crime!!also could be how the culprit knew how to spell "hack"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

yeah ".Hack " is a famous manga.

But don't expect the average JT poster do know that. ;) Only Otaku would know it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Make that JT poster/J-bashers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Then again, it could be a group of Japanese university students warming up for a visit to Italy?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are you sure this wasn't a Japanese attempt to spell f***?

Hahahaaaa, you owe me a new keyboard! ;-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, well it might be an English word. It might be an acronym, such as Heinous Acts of a Capricious Kind. It might be someone's name, as in Hack Wilson--one of the all time baseball greats for those who don't know. Or it might have been another word entirely, foreshortened for lack of time--somebody trying to harness a bullet train with a "hackamore", for example.

Or it could just be zany Japanese English such as the erstwhile cheap clothing store near the Futakotamagawa station which was mysteriously named Violence Jack Off, making sense in a perverse way. After all if you can evade security and hack into a computer, why can't you hack a train?

In any event, graffiti (seems to be some confusion as to how to spell this) can be an art form, but more so for the artists than for those who are forced to enjoy their works. In most instances I have noticed in Tokyo, however, it is just hormonal vandalism.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"red, white and blue colors"

I love those colors.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No mention of when the train was scheduled to pull out but if it was written on one car could they have not changed that car for another one or don't they have the time, spares, inclination?

My first thought was JR stopped the train because 'Hack' might have been a hint that the computer controlling the train had been hacked and, therefore, dangerous to run.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are they implying it's a foreigner that did it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course a foreigner did it. It's a crime isn't it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let me get this straight. They cancelled a train because someone had sprayed some graffiti on one car?? You are joking!

JR management ought to take a trip to Germany and take a look at the trains there. In Frankfurt they get kept back in the depot if someone hasn't actually got around to spraying graffiti on them yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I imagine they stop trains in Paris (or any big city) whenever they find a graffiti... No trains would be running anymore!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Props. Take note toys, dat's how it's done.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

piglet: Have you ever been to NYC, New Jersey, D.C? The only thing is that nowadays, they have a way to get it off quickly with some type of orange smelling stuff.

I see graffiti all over Tokyo, and in English and I know its Japanese teenagers. Graffiti has become part of the Hip Hop culture; after being dead for a while.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Statistician,

Let me get this straight. They canceled a train because someone had sprayed some graffiti on one car?? You are joking!

Someone got close enough to do a three-color graffiti painting without being noticed.. on a train that can go 300 kph.. Yeah, I'm voting with the safe side here. We're not talking about a subway train. Who knows what else could have (but probably wasn't) done?

As far as it being a gaikokujin responsible, because the word was in English.. nah. Then how would you explain all of those goofy t-shirts with the random English phrases on them?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah random phrases like "Me world loves, one word we live. Happy we keep"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Funny!!! Lets stop most of trains in Europe which have a lot of such stuff on them. Make people walk :) Japan is funny country,just graffiti and it means TERROR!!! YEAH!!!! Scary, right!! Propaganda everywhere before G8 Summit. They will blame foreigners because Japanese dont speak ingriszu, right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are you sure this wasn't a Japanese attempt to spell f***?

ROTFLMFAO!

And yeah, what's with the finger pointing at a possibility of a foreigner doing this? Just because the colours are red, white and blue? And they say we gaijin are paranoid!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Grafitti is still fairly new to Japan.

Plus, train companies got an image to uphold. Nothing wrong with that, I have been to the states, etc and seen grafitti-covered trains and felt sad.

If you thing grafitti is cool and accepted you are in a different world to mine.

Lets look at the japanese students writing on a world heritage site in italy, that is grafitti too.

Nothing against people expressing their views but they should NOT devalue other peoples property by doing so.

The remains of the Berlin Wall, etc are also covered in grafitti now, those guys just don't care where they put their mark.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you look at the trains in Tokyo there isn't any graffiti. I'm not saying that there isn't any graffiti, there's a lot of it, just not on the trains. Also I've never seen a bullet train that's been graffitied so it's a big deal. As for the random English phrases that don't make sense, you see t-shirts with Japanese on them that doesn't make sense all over America. Also, i really don't think the article was trying to insinuate that a foreigner did it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of the things I loved most about Japan when I first arrived here 17 years ago was the absence of this sort of idiocy. Over time, and especially in the last 5 years, I have noticed a lot more vandalism in the form of graffiti.

Zen Builder,

If you thing grafitti is cool and accepted you are in a different world to mine. Nothing against people expressing their views but they should NOT devalue other peoples property by doing so.

Nor should they force their art upon others.

I have no tolerence for this kind of thing.

Taka

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Let me get this straight. They cancelled a train because someone had sprayed some graffiti on one car?? You are joking!"

There's a difference between graffiti on commuter/subway trains, and graffiti on your premiere train product. I have no clue about the German metro or whats up there, they might let a regular ole subway train out with some writing on it, but I doubt they would let their premiere ICE bullet train out with one side of it defaced.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The New York metro and the Shinkansen are by no stretch of the imagination the same.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually "Hack" was the name of a quite interesting public domain computer game, available in the time, when computers were accessed by Terminals and people used ASCII graphics. Its good that they did not use Katakana Engrish, e.h. "Haku", because this might mean "to puke". At least in Japanese children language.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ever seen a commercial airliner in service with highly noticeable graffiti like this? Obviously not? Same thing for the shinkansen. I would even bet that here in Japan the same standard is/would be applied for regular trains and subways as well; in all the years I've ridden Japanese railways I have yet to encounter a train that's been obviously defaced with graffiti, and I sincerely doubt it's because no one's ever tried. Who cares how low the standards and expectations have sunk in the US and Europe. This is Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who cares how low the standards and expectations have sunk in the US and Europe. This is Japan.

very true

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are they that aerodynamic that spray paint would cause a problem?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

English graffiti 'Hack' grounds bullet train

Let's get this straight JT. Who used the headline 'English graffiti' ? Was that the Japanese media or police ? Or is this another inflamatory headline inciting plenty of anti-Japanese argument ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Someone breaks into a shinkansen yard, tags a train, there's a A LOT of issues with that not just someone tagging a train, eg security of trains, someone breaks in to tag it with graffiti what if someone had more sinister objectives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have been to the states, etc and seen grafitti-covered trains and felt sad.

Lol. Poor trains. BAWWWWWW.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah, because grafitti on trains for me is a sign of social values dropping.

Today they paint on trains tomorrow ....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's get this straight JT. Who used the headline 'English graffiti' ? Was that the Japanese media or police ? Or is this another inflamatory headline inciting plenty of anti-Japanese argument ?

The Yahoo! Japan article didn't mention anything about English letters, and even the drooling hordes who comment there didn't bring it up.

Probably just JT trying to stir things up again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A shinkansen train is not allowed to roll because of graffiti painted on the side of it? Get a life! Of course, this is Japan, where everything has to be perfect. Of course, a gaijin criminal was responsible - like they are for all the crimes in Japan these days.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First of all Japanese are not convinced that foreigners commit all the crimes, or even most of them. However like in most countries there is a tendency to blame foreigners for many crimes. Japan is not the only one, just look at Italy, South Africa, France, and the US.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably just JT trying to stir things up again.

Yep. Checked the headlines for most major news agency and the only one mentioned something about "English" was the Jiji press. Even Kyodo Japan did not include the word English in their headlines.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As far as we know so far, only Japan Today used the headline 'English garffiti'. There is no evidence as yet to show the word 'English' came from the Japanese media or the police.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Explanation:

All about the "Me first" culture.

Let me be the first to deface this wall/train(ie leave my mark). If I do something horrible "I" will be remembered even if "I" am dead.

There is a pattern may it be grafitti, writing on a world heritage site, etc it is all about people leaving their mark to be remembered and stand out from the crowd.

Same can be said for punks whatever across the ages.

Ad to that the internet age and the feeling "I can't be traced"(so wrong), etc and you got a new brand of whackos doing bad stuff.

For me the problem is not the guy who did but the society that failed him. Look at the tons of parents that use game-stations, TV, etc as a substitute baby-sitter, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At least bored kids get to take out their frustrations by tagging a train. Not very nice if someone tags your property, but much rather that than physical violence. It's against the law, but if it means some kid feels less stressed about his life then it's fine by me. Let's get things into context shall we.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some people really are paranoid. Simply mentioning that the graffiti was an 'English word' has you all up in arms that 'the foreigners are being blamed'? Grow up. Or go back on the medication.

As for the train being taken out of service because of the graffiti - it's zero tolerance of this kind of vandalism. One of the reasons there is so little graffiti in Japan. Especially with the recent hoo-haw about Japanese idiots scribbling on cultural monuments overseas.

Who cares how low the standards and expectations have sunk in the US and Europe. This is Japan.

Yes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I try to see beyond the act to the underlying motives and they are the same just different degrees.

Guess none of you guys ever did stupid things in your youth. We all know that JT posters are angels and poster-children for correct behaviour.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For those people that don't think graffiti is a big deal, how would you like it if you just bought a shiny new car and someone did the same thing to your car? Perhaps some wouldn't care (as long as the graffiti was 'cool', but you have no CHOICE as to what they will write or paint).

What if it just random lines and badly done? It pretty much sucks because your nice new car is no longer nice and shiny. It costs money to fix this.

I don't see where in the article it even remotely suggests that the train was painted by foreigners. Please show me where it says that? The only thing it says is English Graffiti. To me, that's pretty descriptive as the word is written in English. I'm sure that graffiti may has sufficed. If it were in any other language other than Japanese, I'm sure that the word would have changed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it would be difficult to spray the kanji for hack in the dark. English was the correct choice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zen,

You are contradicting yourself. You are accusing some posters of finding graffiti tagging funny. Although we did not actually say it was funny. And then you accuse those posters of being 'angels' after accusing them of finding this funny ? Which is it to be ? Do we find graffiti vandalism funny ? Or are we angels ? And before you try and assume someone's past life, maybe you should meet them first and talk about their past life. There is nothing angelic or correct about my youth and if you do not understand why guys feel like tagging a train then I doubt that you are from the same side of the street as me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Northlondon.

Grafitti is a crime, nothing more. Don't matter if it is here or overseas. Trying to make lite of it because it happens somewhere else tells me a lot about you.

Just because it is the norm and become acceptable/understandable "back home" don't make it acceptable some place else.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can't understand the big deal about graffiti, me. If it's not offensive and adds color to what is otherwise yet another bit of bland industrial space, then I say let it go. Encourage it, even. I dare say that deep down, a lot of people feel that way, but they allow organisational morality to trump their ideas of what is and isn't acceptable. The person who pulled this train out of service, for example, probably couldn't give a toss about 'hack', but thought he should do it because JR would expect it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rio.

Some grafitti artists have become renowned artists, but there is still a time and place for it.

Painting anything without permission is a CRIME. I know lots of towns have hired grafitti artists to improve certain sites and also offer "grafitti spots" that can be used.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they saw that in the yard, why not just change that car, or maybe their boss couldn't make a decision. Of course we are not educated to make decisions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Come to think of it, I've never seen graffitti in Japan in any other form than English?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zen,

Nobody here has condoned an act of vandalism. I am just putting it into context. Read the news and be aware of the real issues out there today. News headlines ? Cancelling an express train service ? Police investigations ? Come off it. Deal with the real issues in the same manner and we might be impressed with this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

3/10 for that one. Downer! Most graffiti leaves me with a sick feeling inside and ruins that part of my day. Instantly wish that I hadn't seen it.

They should react the same way in Europe and stop a few trains to clean them up, and maybe more people might be tempted onto public transport. If we're going to have graffiti, then licensed artists only, please, as with licensed musicians in the subways.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

whilst defacing private property and world heritage sites is bad, its certainly not the worst thing in the world. someone just wants to be noticed. gain attention. its a lot more harmless than the way the likes of kato did it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Northlondon.

Why because it has NOT become the norm here yet as it has become overseas. Don't apply your overseas standards to Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Romulus.

Did you read what I said. The MOTIVES are the same just different degrees. It is all about being recognised and leaving your mark.

Nice try.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zen,

read this and then talk to me.

http://www.graffiti.org/faq/stanchfield.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Scanned a bit(article too long). Not seen any new insights in what I scanned.

Sum it up for me and others here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zen - Thanks for the link. I like fig.13.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1: Graffiti: Do it on your own wall, car, owned land. If you are a loser and do not own any of those, keep your art in you mind or limit to paper.

2: Vandalism: Vandalism is the behaviour attributed to the Vandals in respect of culture: ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable. Such action includes criminal damage, defacement, graffiti and crass erection of an eyesore. This is definition from Wikipedia.

3: English: Lots of Japanese wannabe graffiti artists are trying English words, so it can be anyone, Japanese/non-japanese. However, the total graffiti culture is completely non-japanese.

4: Train Company: I totally agree with their decision of canceling the scheduled run. Shinkansen's are Japan's pride. It represents the professionalism and preciseness of Japanese people. Probably graffiti is accepted in other countries, as their train companies have not much of standards to follow, but in Japan, they do follow standards. This idiocy of a low quality artist will cause a lot of money to the train company to repaint/clean. I hope the artist gets arrested and has to pay the fine.

Japan is funny country...

Yeah, lots of foreigners think the same about other countries as well. It just shows lack of understanding and knowledge of other culture and custom.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Idoits....There is good graffiti and bad....this falls in the latter category. Unsanctioned Graffiti-ing usually doesn't add value to a neigbourhood, more an advertisement for lawlessness. Hope they catch these guys and graffiti everything they got and see how they like it!

That aside, security-speaking, its good they stopped the train. If someone has managed to graffiti the car, don't know what else could have been tampered with.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

its certainly not the worst thing in the world. its a lot more harmless than the way the likes of kato did it.

Exactly. Couldn't have put it better myself.

Zen, you are clearly too concerned about the less pressing issues in life. Maybe you should get outside a bit more often.

Years ago, I was on a bus in London that was taken out of service mid-route, because some kid had written a rude word in pen on the back of a seat. It was in winter and all the passengers had to then wait out in the cold. Now, who was really hassling the passengers ? Some kid who had written a rude word seen only from one seat ? Or the jobsworth conductor who told all his passengers to leave the bus ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Said that you might as well blame the person that reported the grafitti to the conductor and thus caused it being pulled out of service.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well here in the states, you'd all be wrong. --Don't blame the kid that wrote it, nor the conductor, certainly not the person that reported it!

Blame the pen manufactures of the world!

(insert spray paint for pen to be relevant to this article).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How exactly do you ground a train anyway? I wasnt aware that they could fly...

All a load of crap from every way I look at it.

Unskilled and uninspired artwork, uninspired solution by JR, couldnt they make other arrangements? no back up plan?

Also, last trip I took by shinkansen on the way out and the way home the damn carriage stunk worse than a public longdrop at a beerfest. It seems to be only the outward appearance and reputation that matters, but once your on the stinker its too late. They can cancel a whole days schedules runs for some graffiti, but cant stop and clean and air out the carriages during the days run, not even a squirt of air-freshner....

cancelling is to save face..those standards people are talking about are only to save face, inward problems are not taken care of( maybe I'm venturing into allegory on Japanese society oops) ...

graffiti is dumb, even if it looks cool, why not get your own wall? I think most people doing it either have anti social sentiments or just tryng to fit a gangster hiphop stereotype, or whatever stereotype. Even I did this sort of thing when I was younger, but I soon realised it was a waste of time and of other people property, and moved on to other. mediums of art. We all have choices, and chooseing to paint on a train instead of a canvas is retarded. It doesn't make you cool, and it sure didnt make that crap graffiti any better either. at least paint a picture, not a single word like some toddler with a crayon...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I went to school with a number of "graf" artists. They justified putting pieces on building and tagging everywhere by saying it was "art". Talk about immature - losers have nothing better to do than scribble on walls and piss everyone off?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Any and all graffiti is a waste of time and trouble. Catch the moron who did this charge him for the man hour involved in the clean up and then tag his behind. Track them down and keep Japan clean. Dont want Japan to look like Detroit, Miami or New York, real slums!

The Bigs

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looking at the style of this tag it has not been done by pros. I'd suspect Japanese teenage wanna be's have created their own tag. I'm sure the cops would find more of the same tag around the neighborhood if they bothered to have a look. I doubt if this was done by a foreigner. It was probably done by the same group that was stealing all the tulips a few months back.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wow, alot of comments for one of the most meaningless articles ive ever seen

0 ( +0 / -0 )

notimpressed, I agree with your critique of the "artwork", but you obviously have little knowledge of railway operations. Only one train was cancelled, and JR always has back up for these or any kind of incidents. Since Shinkansen is a regular interval service, the only "inconvenience" for the passengers was to wait for the next available service(an hour or two?). There is no mention of "a whole days schedule cancelled" in the article. Now, in America, if there was a fault with an Amtrak train, a cancellation would have stranded passengers for up to one day, as most lines have only one pathetic train running in each direction daily. Yes, an Amtrak train would run with graffiti, but then again they have no "face" to save- in Japan OTOH thay have pride in their trains!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cancelling a train does seem a bit dramatic but by reacting so strongly, I guess it helps make what many people in the west consider ‘trivial’ vandalism remain a serious matter. And by doing that, hopefully Japan won’t find the majority of it’s rail stock covered (inside and out) with the crappy and inane scribbling of some so-called ‘artists’.

And in response to an earlier post saying that Shinkansen stink – I’ve never ridden one that was anything other than clean and fresh. Although putting the smoking carriage in the middle of the five unreserved cars is odd as the smoke does drift into the neighbouring cars.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yawn another Japanese trying to be cool by using English, this time by a go nowhere loser who needs his mother-bought Nike imports stolen so he can learn the value of property.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I see stopping the train as a battle cry for the tagger, he had the power to stop a train,,, now he will do more of them. As far as amtrak vs japan your comparing a semi and a moped, United States is a tad bit bigger and of course it would take longer to get the next train. I think tagging is stupid and if you ever walk around Meguro or Ebisu you will see a ton of Japanese teens tagging in english all over, so its growing here. Just like the kids here who wear pants hanging down or one pants leg up they are trying to be the hip hop of America and they think tagging is part of that culture. Most likely stopping that train and cleaning it was smart because of the image they have, but if it happens to say 10 of them it will make a huge problem and stopping them all wouldnt work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nippon5

You think the tagger's goal was to actually keep the train from operation? I don't. I don't think he thought that far ahead or was aware of possible consequences.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some grafitti artists have become renowned artists, but there is still a time and place for it.

Exactly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I see various opinions here. All of them are quite interesting. However, I think JR reacted correctly. The shinkasen train is a high priced mode of transportation and passengers paying the fee should expect be able to travel in a graffiti-free train. This is one of those things that needs to be reacted to quickly. Having the train whizzing around Japan with the graffiti would amount to giving up just a bit.

To those who enjoy graffiti, as was noted above, there is a time and place for everything. In Japan, the shinkansen is neither.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

...getting back to the brouhaha about the word "English" in the title. TBH the whole headline stinks! It makes it sound like there was a person named "Hack" who is classified as a "graffiti" - like a terrorist or something and he caused the train to stop.

English graffiti 'Hack' grounds bullet train

Also "Ground" is for airplanes and ships, who ever heard of a train being grounded?

How about a simple yet accurate, informative and non provocative headline such as "Shinkansen cancelled due to vandalism" ????

Poor headlines to go with incorrect choice of Lexis in numerous other articles. Come on JT pull your socks up!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dudes, headlines are meant to grab readers attentions so you read the articles so you click through the ads so you make the newspaper owner money. Everything else is a hallucination on your part.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You know that the only real reason they grounded that train was to make people upset, so they can say oh look at how horiable this is... it was so bad we had to even cancel our train and delay millions.. it was not and is not that big deal life goes on.. if something so small bothers you wait till big stuff start happing your really going to lose you heads.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah, yeah. Aircraft get grounded, ships get grounded, teenagers get grounded as so do trains. By the way, the person who did the defiling spraying may have confused the dates. Mixed up shigatsu and schichigatsu. Thought it would be a good April Fool's joke. This theory would point in the direction of a gaijin hannin. The JR were right in taking this train out of service. The Shinkansen Lines are not a theme park operation. Nations and nationals that shrug at vandalism because it is so widespread and condone it are the living evidence of the erosion of norms and morale.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this graffiti is fairly amateur. Use of color and space is fair though and seems to have a summertime theme which is a nice touch. I believe he was going for a summertime clouds theme.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe they like their cleanliness, but this is rediculous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Big deal, I wouldn't care as long as I got to my destination.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the train should have been stopped, since there is no way to determnine what other damage could have been done other parts of the train or its other cars. For a Shinkansen, even a small dent or misalignment in one of the wheels could result in derailment.

i remember last year when Marck Ecko did this viral video of him defacing a commercial jet, but it was all a hoax, since it was a promotional scam.

I assume that the J-cops will spend another couple million Yen to do the handwriting analysis to finger this guy. Graffitti artists are proud of their work and no doubt that this guy signed his work somewhere. Like Sean Connery in "Art of War", this guy "expects to be caught" to gain street cred. Then he can be famous and start his own clothing line..........

0 ( +0 / -0 )

USNin Japan2... he didnt think about stopping the train, what I said is because of the JR reaction of stopping the train he now has a new reason to tag more of them.His art work is in 5 papers and all over tv, he has his 15 minutes of fame and will try to get more. Its sad but its true, most criminals like the media coverage of their crime....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As they pointed out on the evening news, it's extremely worrying that a person can sneak up to a train and daub paint on it without being seen, especially at a time when security is supposed to be increased because of the summit. If a person can sneak up and daub paint, he can sneak up and plant a bomb. Those posters scoffing that the train could still run with the graffiti are missing the point. It is indeed a big deal.

The 'artist', far from having his 15 minutes of fame, is now on the wanted list and faces very serious punishment if and when they catch him. If he has any sense he will throw away his paints and never even consider 'tagging' anything else ever again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nippon4

Anonymous vandalism does not constitute fame, not even 15 minutes' worth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sure he'll be facing justice, but defacing public property is not as serious crime people might think, and if he has a clean record he may not have to do so much jail time. he did not "destroy the train" so destruction of public property does not apply here. The train still works! any lawyers out there that can provide expert opinions?

all that said, he will have to pay a hefty restitution which will set him back for a while, but there may be "investors" out there willing to put up the cash to get access to his trademarks or designs. this is all speculation of course hahaha.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I must admit I admire the fact that they stopped the train to clean and inspect it. I live in Arizona and the graffiti here is pathetic, and abundant. I would love to see the tax dollars go to cleaning up the communities here. I respect the fact they want to keep things clean.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

However like in most countries there is a tendency to blame foreigners for many crimes. Japan is not the only one, just look at Italy, South Africa, France, and the US.

In the US we usually blame minorities, not foreigners.

I think everyone here characterizing places that tolerate graffiti as slums and places with low standards need to get off their high horses. While this news certainly shouldn't be used as an excuse to bash Japan for being anti-foreigner, neither should it be used by Japan-lovers to spew hate and non-sense about places with graffiti like NY, Germany, London, etc. The graffiti on the front of my apartment buildings says no more about the people living in my neighborhood (or the US as a whole) than the knife wielding psychopath in Akihabara says about Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Vague and extremely circumspect insinuations of "foreigner" involvement, most likely residing in the mind of the reader? Better get Debito involved on this one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

you can tagging magazines in many g8 countries where losers like this display their "work" ..and consideration

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Joetsu Shinkansen is never delayed, this is amazing news!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think they are right to ground the train and hunt down the twit whether he be foreign or local. Maybe they can't do much in the way of punishment but the days of interrogation may put people off in future.

Anything to ensure that Japanese trains do not end up the disgrace that they call trains back home in the UK.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I suggest JR East follow the system used in some foreign country (the name escapes me at the moment) and unleash Dobermans or Rottweilers to patrol the signal yards between midnight and dawn. Any required cleanup will be easily done by two stretcher bearers instead of a paint-removal team.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It was done by a foreigner, the tags even had side writings written in English, something like 'Hack was here' or something or other. Don't exactly know how to comment on this issue...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The "artist" should really have learnt to paint better before seeking his "15 minutes of fame".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The print edition of the Daily Yomiuri English Version reported it as writing in "Roman Letters" and didn't mention English at all. Seemed to be a bit more professional with its reporting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It was done by a foreigner, the tags even had side writings written in English

Case closed.

Don't exactly know how to comment on this issue...

Maybe you should have left it at that. The garbage written to the side of the main garbage was incorrect, any native speaker would see that instantly and would close the case by deeming it the work of a major loser who probably missed the salaryman train and decided to exact some sort of pathetic revenge.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is possible that this moron probably was trying to spell Fack, which would also be a mispelling of another frequently used work.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NHK news just did a feature on the shinkansen graffiti, the Florence graffiti and graffiti on various national monuments all over Japan. Never was it suggested that any of it was the work of a foreigner, and much of the graffiti featured was written in Japanese anyway, so they would hardly claim that Japanese people don't commit such crimes. JT's use of the word "English" was provocative, possibly deliberately so, but it doesn't mean that all news media here take the same view.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can prove he is japanese just by looking at the style of graffiti, and the type of paint he painted over the train. His style (including the excessive tags written around it) is not similar to any other style of graffiti from any other part of the world than current japanese style.

Graffiti on trains in japan happens often however it is rarely reported, the depots have little or no security compared to other countries (especially Europe), and as there is a growing "Train Graffiti Cult" within the global graffiti community that encourages copycat actions by other graffiti writers to be more "hardcore"

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article4029655.ece

This newspaper article explains hows organised and military these groups had become in the UK, and how the police had put them under surrviellance to catch them in the act.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just a moment, if there are 20,000 police wandering around tokyo station to stop all the "Terrorists" How the hell did someone slip past these amazingly trained olice and put graffiti on a train?? if they can do that then a bomb would be easy...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hello? Hasn't anyone in the government seen the four letter word graffiti painted graphically along the walls for everyone to see as one rides the mono-rail from Hammamatsu-cho to Haneda? Take a look next time and then tell me the Shinkansen story is more newsworthy!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

just a WORD

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zanza123: "It was done by a foreigner, the tags even had side writings written in English, something like 'Hack was here' or something or other. Don't exactly know how to comment on this issue..."

Pull your head out of the ground, man! So there was English... big deal! I see plenty of graffiti painted in English by little Japanese punks, and it's usually stupid English like someone calling him/herself (a) hack. Do you know any artists who want to be called 'hack'? I sure don't... and I'm not suggesting this graffiti is 'art', but I figure the painter probably fancies him/herself a bit of an artist.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why was a train delayed from a scheduled departure over graffiti? Why not wait until the weekend or some other "down" period and just clean it off then? Just curious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

because as buggerlugs suggests above they presumed if someone could sneak into the station and vandalise the train they could also have done something more serious to the train and probably panicked over the 'connotations' of the word 'hack'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites