Japanese love their umbrellas. Rain or shine, lolita or businessman, everyone enjoys the security of a swath of plastic or cloth above their precious head. However, this time of year poses a particular problem for parasol lovers, when mother nature flings typhoons at East Asia like so many spitballs at a blackboard of the Pacific Rim.
The result for most pedestrians is a nasty combination of heavy wind and rain where one wrong turn of the corner can instantly result in your umbrella becoming the world’s largest and most depressing shuttlecock.
After hearing that heart-wrenching “pffft” sound of an umbrella dying, people in Japan seem to do one of two things.
1) Hang on to it until you get to a trash receptacle
This would seem like the polite thing to do especially since you’re forced to walk around with your now cumbersome and useless hunk of metal and plastic like some lovable hobo.
However, as website Byokan Sunday pointed out, inadequately sized garbage cans force these modern-day Buster Keatons to simply lean or hang their umbrellas next to the bins as a testament to how useless they are in this situation.
2) Drop it and just keep moving
People choosing this option lower the arm to the side, let the umbrella fall out of their hand, and walk away avoiding eye contact with anyone.
Both methods of dealing with wind ruined umbrellas have drawn the scorn of netizens who both mourn the loss of Japanese manners and fear for their lives should a sudden gust of wind hurl a twisted heap of metal and translucent plastic at their heads.
“On the way to the station I saw littered umbrellas everywhere.” “Seriously, everyone stop littering umbrellas… I saw 5 but they’re like weapons.” “Littering isn’t good in the first place, but umbrellas are really bad because they can fly.” “Seeing a broken umbrella stuck into a bed of flowers really aggravates me.” “Please deal with your broken umbrellas the right way.”
Unfortunately, the “right way” to deal with a mangled parasol isn’t so clear for many people. Their awkward size and sharpened frame can make them difficult to throw away by conventional means.
Nevertheless, something needs to be done to curb this epidemic of mildly criminal behavior that threatens to undo the very fabric of Japanese society. If some plucky entrepreneur could get a cost-effective umbrella recycling program set up they could stand to make a pretty penny.
Source: Byokan Sunday
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