With commutes in urban Japan often taking 60 minutes each way, smartphones are a godsend for students and businesspeople with literally hours to kill each day as they make their way through the public transportation system. But as the devices become increasingly prevalent, accidents involving distracted walking are on the rise, because some people can’t tear their eyes away from their phones long enough to watch where they’re going.
But just because Japanese culture places great importance on manners, courtesy, and safety doesn’t mean it can’t display a sense of humor in discussing those topics, as shown in this video from mobile phone service provider DoCoMo.
Titled Samurai Smartphone Parade, the video is set during Japan’s feudal Edo period. In this era, daimyo (warlords) were forced to transfer their residence from their regional seat of power to the capital in Edo every other year, in order to sap their influence and wealth in order to prevent them from rising up against the shogunate.
The periodic moves were rather involved affairs, but the video adds a modern wrinkle of giving everyone in the procession a smartphone.
The road to Edo, though, is long and fraught with perils. Unfortunately, the daimyo’s entourage is unable to resist the temptation to play with their smartphones en route, and meet with one mishap after another.
As the samurai mirror the accidents of modern commuters, the video informs us of survey data indicating 66% of people have bumped into someone while using a smartphone and walking and 18% have tripped over something in their path. Most startling of all is the statistic claiming that 3.6% of people have fallen from the train platform and onto the tracks while staring at their smartphone as they make their way through the station.
This being a samurai tale, there’s of course a little added drama, such as a potential romance ruined by smartphone-induced inattentiveness and the daimyo’s palanquin bearers getting separated from the rest of their comrades.
But maybe you’ve already found your true love and aren’t part of the lofty stratum of society that has servants carrying it around. Even still, you’ll want to keep an eye on your surroundings, because if you become overly engrossed in your surroundings, some ninja might straight-up murder you.
So remember, keep your smartphone in your bag while you’re walking, unless you’re using it as a shield to block poison blow darts.
Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Your smartphone could kill you: Phone-related deaths on the rise in Japan -- Add a bit of adventure to your tour of Asakusa with a ninja experience! -- Simulation shows the chaotic consequences of walking in Shibuya while staring at your phone© Japan Today