picture of the day

Tokyo Metro

132 Comments

This month's Tokyo Metro manner poster asks passengers (who pretend not to notice elderly or disabled commuters) to offer them their seat.

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Why do all these posters keeping saying "Please do it at home?" Doesn't Tokyo Metro have anyone who can write a more suitable catchphrase for each poster?

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Where I come from this is common sense and courtesy. I think even if I'm in Tokyo my mom would reach out and smack me in the back of the head if I just sat there while some old or handicapped person stood beside me.

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who pretend not to notice elderly or disabled commuters...they will pretend to ignore this notice also.

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What?! Do they know how impossible for me to ignore my grandmother when I go home and visit the family on Obon and the New Years? The woman who is now 90 has all her wits and bodily functions intact. If she finds out that I am ignoring her, she'll kick my arse.

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Doesn't Tokyo Metro have anyone who can write a more suitable catchphrase for each poster?

Like: "These seats are reserved for people who gave up on life: preggers, mother, cripples. Are you one of these sad gits?"

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Actually, I like this ad series, and the "Do It At Home" catch phrase, which has just the right tone of having given up on trying to teach people manners, but nevertheless hoping to remind them of the need to maintain at least some decorum in public.

And the English is generally correct, too.

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Why do they always show young people in these posters, not the dirty drunken salary men who are the main culprits who push their way into seats. Also what the heck does "courtesy seat" mean anyway. Don't we PAY for seats in trains. What "Courtesy" are they providing. A safe ride?

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If the old man was pregnant, that will be just perfect.

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Solution? That's easy ... Just wiggle that crutch onto the dork's foot and lean down hard for the duration. Frankly that would make me happier than having someone ask them to forfeit the seat.

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= Please ignore physically challenged people in your own home.

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Noborito - exactly. Should be a picture of salarymen sitting there "sleeping".

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Does this really need to be in English? In my experience the only tone-deaf spatially unaware belligerent subway rides are the locals.

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If anything Chinese or Korean. I have no idea why Japan focuses so much on English when it isn't the most popular second language. Oh, right. Lip service. At least the character aren't gaijin.

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Ultradodgy - quite right.

I ended up in a neck brace before Christmas (don't ask)and had to get a train. In more pain than I've ever known, standing right in front of the "courtesy" seats, amazed at the ingenuity some people showed trying to avoid eye contact. When someone eventually stood up to get off, I was pushed out of the way by some sour-faced office baggage in her early 40's. (You know the type, cake-eater, lives with cats). I'll tell you something, she learned a few choice bits of anglo-saxon vocab that day. The woman sitting next to her twigged what was afoot and offered me her seat. "Thank you very much" says I, "You're very kind". Then turn round 45 degrees to my assailant. Volume up to 11. "You see that? That's manners? Where's your manners? Don't see a crutch. Don't see a baby. You're clearly not pregnant." etc.etc. She pulls the deer-in-the-headlights thousand-yard-stare dead ahead.

Can't say I conducted myself with a great deal of decorum. But it was more than a shade satisfying when she got off at the next station and waited for the next train.

"We Japanese show consideration for the people around us", they'll tell you. "We think, not of ourselves, but of each other. It is Japanese Manner"

My ringpiece.

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Where I come from this is common sense and courtesy

Yeah? Welcome to Japan. These things dont exist here. If you look the other way, the problem disappears.

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If anything Chinese or Korean. I have no idea why Japan focuses so much >on English when it isn't the most popular second language. Oh, right. >Lip service. At least the character aren't gaijin.

Japanese aren't taught Chinese or Korean in their school system the way Englsh is taught. English is also the nearest thing to a "universal" language in that many peple from many cuontries can understand it, not just those from English speaking countries. Finally, since the end of WWII English has been the de facto second language in Japan, although you'd never know it from the pretty abysmal grasp of English held by the majority of Japanese people.

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This reminds me of a story I have told before. Anyway, when Mrs. Timor was expecting our first child (and about 7 months pregnant), I remember having to go somewhere by train with her. Anyway, there were these two young chaps sitting in the "Silver Seats" totally ignoring my wife (who was rather tired). She did not do anything, but I leaned over to one of these chaps and asked him two questions. The first one was "Is the reason you are sitting in the seat because you are handicapped?" The chap looked at me in a rather surly way and said "No." I then stretched my neck a little bit and squared up to him (I played as a rugby front row forward), and asked him in a slightly more menacing manner, "Would you like to be handicapped?" He got the message, and my wife got to sit down.....

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Timor - Oh I say. Bravo. Full marks.

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timorborder -- great story. Unfortunately that is about the only way to get any courtesy or politeness out of most Japanese. I offer my seat to folks regularly, even if not in a silver seat. The look of appreciation on the faces of the folks is more than worth it. Too bad more Japanese folks don't get satisfaction out of doing the same.

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Why does this society needs to be told on mannerism? Every time we ride on the trains/subways, the train man would remind passengers to offer seats, switch off mobile phones etc...

Mannerism is a very basic thing in life, and should have been taught at home or in schools.

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The look of appreciation on the faces of the folks is more than worth it.

And that is what it is all about! For all the shxt that happens in the world around us, there is nothing that compares with the satisfaction of doing somebody else a favor, whether it is old folks/pregnant women on the train, helping folks struggling with baby strollers or what ever.

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Ossan, thanks for the lesson but I was refering to the fact that "manners" isn't so much an Asian thing. China and Korea are just as bad for lack of manners and there are plenty of Chinese and Koreans in Japan that could use their language on such posters as a reminder to stand the heck up and offer a seat. I have no idea how many times I have made comments to folks when I've been pushed and whatnot. That being said, I certainly don't love the nasty obachans who are doing the pushing. I don't know who is worse to be honest - the salarymen or the nasty old women.

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Unfortunately that is about the only way to get any courtesy or >politeness out of most Japanese. I offer my seat to folks regularly, >even if not in a silver seat. The look of appreciation on the faces of >the folks is more than worth it. Too bad more Japanese folks don't get >satisfaction out of doing the same.

I think you're generalizing too much here. I agree most young Japanese are oblivious to common courtesy but there are some Japanese people who aren't. I know cause I've seen them. To declare "all Japanese" on this one is like declaring "all Americans" based on the car theft article in Sasebo.

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.

I agree most young Japanese are oblivious to common courtesy

young japanese are by far the politest. it is the over 50s who need a good slapping

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Ossan, generally Japanese folks aren't too polite - regardless of how much they think they are. Indeed there are some polite folks out there but they pale in comparison to those who run, push, shove and ignore there way to a seat. I won't even start on the line cutters.

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Salarymen seem to be pretty rude on those trains, but maybe that's just because there are so many of them. It gets me when some of these oafs won't give their seat to an obachan. That said, I once sat in a reserved seat accidently, and no one said a thing. Luckily there was no disabled person waiting for it.

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So, we have to constantly be on the lookout to give up our seat for more than 30% of the population. We may as well not sit down in the first place then. Give us a break.

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timorborder - for those who was raised in certain societies/countries (something we share, I believe), we're taught that pleasure can be gained by doing such favors. However, in other societies, other values are taught. I like the fact nowadays people often talk here about 'common sense' which may be 'common sense' from their own culture, but not from another. From my upbringing, it's 'common sense' to check to see if someone is behind when you walk through a door, and if there is, hold the door for them. Now, for most people, that's not 'common sense' here, as I can attest from the number of times people have let doors slam in my face.

As others have written here, in Japan, if you have no relationship with a stranger (or no potential relationship), why show them any regard? It's just a waste of time, isn't it? ;)

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These days everyone is selfish. Wasn't always like that, and most J-people stick to the memory of what was rather than face the reality that they are now some of the rudest people on the planet. Everything I hear them complain about in other countries, they do here. Including spitting, and other obnoxiousness. But they deny that it happens or just shrug it off.

These posters are amusing at best, but its like preaching to the choir as no one else is paying attention. I won't hold my breath for the day when people start showing manners again.

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I'm looking forward to the poster with a shiny-suited Toshi on it, knuckle-deep in his own sinus, with the legend "Please do it when you want hoofing in the plums, you dirty, dirty old man"

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we're taught that pleasure can be gained by doing such favors

I remember once I asked my son (pre-school at the time) to give his seat on the train to an obasan. He did, the lady sat down, said thank you to me (not him) and just as I was about to praise him she started saying 'Oh you poor thing, having to stand up.' His little face fell, and instead of feeling good about himself for doing a good deed he ended up feeling put-upon. I felt like giving the obasan a slap up the back of the head.

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started saying 'Oh you poor thing, having to stand up.'

Almost like saying "Ha! You lost!"

Soon after arriving in Japan I gave up my seat for an elderly woman. SHe thanked me, then plonked her grandchild down in the seat I had vacated!

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Finediner, I will not sit in the silver seats at all. However, I won't stand up if I'm in a regular seats and there are spaces in the silevr seat area. Why? Because I work all freaken day and I pay for my ticket - many of the trains and subways are free for seniors in case many you of you didn't know. If these folks want to sit down, they can move to the silver seat section and grab a seat. Lord knows I've offered my seat more than a few times to only be given a dirty look and then have both of us standing as I would feel bad to sit down again. Usually some salaryman will come along and take it.

I also get a bit tired of little kids getting seats. Why? They are young and don't need them. I would much rather give my seat to a tired salaryman than some 4 year old. But I'm sure that makes me heartless.

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China and Korea are just as bad for lack of manners and there are plenty of Chinese and Koreans

While I agree, most young people, as well as some of the lesser educated populous, could certainly use some instruction in basic manners 101, there could be more, but these are the ones that come to mind immediately:

1) Always cover your mouth when you cough

2) Never stare

3) Use "excuse me" whenever you need to get by someone in a crowed area, don't just push your way through

But if you've never visited China, spend 10 mins at Beijing station and you'll know exactly what "rude" feels like... Ha Ha Ha...

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these posters are annoying and don't make any sense! there is a whole series of them and all of them are senseless rubbish. what a waste of paper.

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I like the fact that with a 'February theme' in this poster.

Isn't the woman giving the man heart-shaped treats for Valentine's Day?

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Correction:

I like the fact there's a 'February theme' in this poster.

Isn't the woman giving the man heart-shaped treats for Valentine's Day?

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Japanese "politeness" in the general sense is a total myth.

More normal than the situation in the poster is for people to feign sleep in courtesy seats. I have woken a few up when necessary...

Personally, I regard ANY seat to be a courtesy seat, but I guess a lot of Japanese people don't because "it doesn't say so"

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I sit in the silver seats because I have silver hair, or what's left of it anyway. As someone likely older than most of you here, I'd just like to say...

Get off my lawn and stay out of my seat!

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ah progress...btw JR seems to have more ppl willing to do the right thing than ppl on subway lines, in comparison.

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and 'please offer courtesy seats WHEN needed by other passengers' is still a bit lame a request. Courtesy seats should be available at most times, if not all.

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But at the same time, we pay for these seats and seniors don't always. If I am paying a fair and a healthy 70 year is not, if I've worked all day and the senior has not, why should I have to give up my seat if the senior isn't standing in the silver seat section? I usually do give up my seat regardless but after a long day at work... I won't if it is some genki obachan. She can stand or move to where someone might give her a seat.

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Personally I avoid those seats or even standing near them. People who do not wish to give up their seats shouldn't take priority seats in the first place, that's what I'm saying.

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tmarie at 01:13 PM JST - 4th February But at the same time, we pay for these seats and seniors don't always. If I am paying a fair and a healthy 70 year is not, if I've worked all day and the senior has not, why should I have to give up my seat if the senior isn't standing in the silver seat section? I usually do give up my seat regardless but after a long day at work... I won't if it is some genki obachan. She can stand or move to where someone might give her a seat.

Gee, not only do you ignore children being beating by "rolling over and going back to sleep", you ignore seniors standing while you are sitting your lazy but in their predetermined seats.

Your a peach.

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Your = You're

(still don't have an edit feature after the fact on this site)

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cleo

thats why many of us here complain about a lack of common sense, forget culture, common sense is just that, but not too common here unfortunately

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My Mum taught me that every seat on a bus or train is a priority seat.

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tmarie. I see that you are here again claiming your right of way due to the fact that you can pay.

First about manners. First of all manners are relative to the place and culture. So your idea of manners and another nation's citizen's idea may not mesh. Expecting others to mirror your own manners is well... imperialistic at worst and naive at best.

Second. When I see anyone who is elderly, sick, carrying a child, I move. Doesn't matter where on the train I am sitting. And I work as long and as hard as you do, I'll bet! But I have a heart and can empathize (this word always comes up with you and I doesn't it.) with the person and show some human compassion (one of your work on points for 2009).

Tmarie. Money may buy things for you, but it does not give you the right to live life with some priviledged expectations and disregard for everyone else. Historically that has landed people beneath dropping blades or against walls when the masses get fed up with that kind of arrogance.

Those non-paying elderly have earned their places with years of hard work while you were still a child or not yet born. Show some respect. Show some compassion. Show some empathy. Get off your priviledged behind and let someone less fortunate or more burdened sit. You may even find that doing so feels good. I do. And I bet a lot of people who make way for others needing the seat more can attest to the resulting positive feeling.

You should pray you never have a day when your money cannot justify your actions.

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Ossan, generally Japanese folks aren't too polite - regardless of how >much they think they are. Indeed there are some polite folks out there >but they pale in comparison to those who run, push, shove and ignore >there way to a seat. I won't even start on the line cutters.

tmarie I think that "polite" is a very subjective term. And it's relative as well. Compared to New York I'd say "most" Japanese are polite. In fact I'd go so far as to say much more polite, because Japanese tend to be concious about themselves and others and not causing "meiwaku". Here, nobody matters or exists besides oneself. We don't push and shove our way to a seat like they do in a Tokyo rush hour. But we TALK LIKE THIS ON OUR CELL PHONES in our train seats and 80% of time someone has to yell STFU. I'd gladly trade your rude folks for mine.

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OssanAmerican. Correct. Manners vary from culture to culture. And lack of manners can be seen anywhere in the world as well.

Maybe being shoved by a rude older lady is unpleasant, but must better than being intimidated by some thug on a US train or deafened by a cell phone fight in Hong Kong.

But all of this is beside the point. We should make way for people who need to sit more than we do. That is the culture here and we should respect it. Plus it is a nice thing to do. You may make someone's day by just standing for a few stops. Pretty cheap investment for a good deed.

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every seat on a bus or train is a priority seat

true. If people were aware of the basics in courtesy from early on, these subway ads wouldn't be necessary.

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if people were aware = rather taught the basics

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The guy's got a crutch and a bar to hold onto, and the train is virtually empty. Doesn't look too uncomfortable - it would probably be more difficult to sit down and stand up again with a broken leg.

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Japan, I'm sorry I don't leap out of bed, put on my gaijin super hero mask for every bump in the night. And that comment actually doesn't belong on here. You can bet your money I would be the first to be out the door if I thought a child was being abused (and have called the cops in the past) but that is another thread. I just don't see why I need to give up my seat if I've paid a fare and am sitting in the non silver seat section when some genki 65-70 year old comes along and I've worked a very long day.

I give up my seat at least once a week (out of non-silver area) but I give them to those I feel need them - gave up mine today so old lady with a lot of bags. If they expect a seat due to their age they can go to the silver seat section. You also spelled "butt" wrong! ;)

TK, I am paying for a service while seniors are not. I don't think you can actualy say "Those non-paying elderly have earned their places with years of hard work" because you don't actually know that. Sorry but just because someone is older then me doesn't mean they get automatic respect and "rights" to things. You really are protesting too much without actually knowing their situations, not to mention mine.

You continue to make assumptions about wealth and whatnot which really doesn't give you any credibility with me. If anything, the old retired folks have a heck of a lot more cash than I do so the whole money thing really isn't a point in here. I merely mention that many of these folks don't pay for their fare whereas we are. Nothing to do with being rich, having a lot of money... More about paying for a service and with that service comes chance at sitting down after a day at the office. Money buys me the expectation that if I get to a seatt first (non-silver section of course) I get to sit down and not have folks like yourself thinking I "have" to give up a seat to someone who isn't actually paying their way and isn't in the "senior" section. I don't think me wanting to sit down after a 12 hour work day is selfish. I think it is rather selfish of a genki 70 year old who is just returning home for an evening out with friends to expect me to stand up and give them a seat - more so if they haven't paid the fare.

Ossan, spare me the "meiwaku" crap. Japanese don't care about "meiwaku" unless they are being called on it. Nothing wrong in Japan with being rude, loud, annoying... UNLESS someone calls them on it.

Not tired, I give up my seat. Tired after a long day of work... I sit in the regular seats and rightfully so.

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I used to like giving up my seat on the bus in Niigata in the same way I like speaking Japanese to unsuspecting Japanese tourists in NZ - 9 times out of 10 you get puzzlement followed by a smile.

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there seems to be a open seat next to me on the train, no need for a manner poster

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I sit on the courtesy seats when there's no people who really need them. I stay alert and dont go into a coma like the usual japanese person.

sometimes when i give someone my seat they dont even know how to behave, since it rarely happens to them. sometimes we foreigners misinterpret that reaction. i don't even look back when i concede a seat. I make it seem like i'm getting off the train.

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I was always wondering why 99% of all other posters and announcements in the trains are all in complete Japanese, and only the "behavior modification" ones have English on them. Pure racism.

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And as I've said, I've also been given dirty looks and had seats refused when offering. I guess I've offended some folks by assuming they're old and need a seat! ;)

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Tmarie, do you break rocks for a living? Hand dig tunnels? Carry maguor at Tsukiji all day? Just how tired are you that you so desperately need a seat? If someone with obvious age, infirmity or problems needs a seat anywhere on the train you should make way. It is simply the right kind thing to do.

As for money. It isn't about having or not having money. It is about your assuming that your payment of tax dollars, ticket fares or other payments gives you excessive rights to ignore the plight and conditions of others. Got is now? It really is this simple.

The base problem here is that people have become selfish to the point of stupidity. I was raised to respect the elderly, have compassion for those less fortunate than I and to have good basic human common sense to feel for other people.

None of this costs me anything. Doesn't trample on my ticket holding rights or tax dollars. What happened to just wanting to be nice to someone? What happened with looking out for your fellow human beings?

Bottom line Tmarie. You are a poster child for what is wrong with manners. When people cannot see beyond their own selfish desires then how can they care about others. And if you don't care, how can you have manners?

Again, you better hope people are more charitable when you grow old, get injured or don't feel good. They day will come. Guaranteed that you will be on the other end of this situation. Bank on it.

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One more thing. Most trains in Tokyo are busy most of the day. Especially during rush hours. There are only a small number of silver seats on any given train. But there may be more than that number of people in need of special consideration for a seat. So what is your solution for the person who really does need to sit and the silver seats are already full or inaccessible?

All seats should be priority for people in need. And all of us should have the common sense to get up when we see someone who needs to sit more than we do.

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How about a sign saying "No student should be seated while an adult stands".

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TK, I teach all day. If anyone needs to sit down, it is I.

"If someone with obvious age, infirmity or problems needs a seat anywhere on the train you should make way. It is simply the right kind thing to do. " I agree with this. It is exactly what I've been saying. But I don't think a peppy 65 year old classifies for "some with obvious age".

"Poster child". Mate, sit down and relax. You really are barking up the wrong tree and attacking the wrong poster on this matter because I don't agree with the comment of age equal respect. I certainly won't want some young thing standing up for me and offering me a chair just because they think I'm over the hill if I'm healthy and fine. I would find it insulting.

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"Ignore the gimps after you get home."

Kind of a weird message.

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i had some akward reactions too when i offered my seat.

anyway i find the picture somewhat strange.

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Tmarie, Just because someone looks genki doesn't mean they are. Plus the elderly are more at risk for balance issues and to injury should the train stop suddenly. These reasons alone, or along with simple respect for your elders, should encourage you to make way and give up your seat.

It is called courtesy and it was once how people demonstrated social respect and consideration for each other. Every person I have yielded my seat to resisted out of polite considertion for me. But when seated looked very happy to have been treated with respect and deference to their condition or age.

Teaching is hard work, but you'd survive a ride home standing. I bet you do often when you can't get a seat anyway. If that doesn't kill you, making way for someone won't either.

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What Tkoind said. And that goes for women-only subway cars, too. Having those is letting the chikanists win. Civility should be a social norm, not a state-mandated obligation.

i had some akward reactions too when i offered my seat.

I get that about 1 time in 5.

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In Japan, it is polite for the man, husband, male person to sit down FIRST. I've seen countless times a married couple comes into the train. And one seat is available. Usually, the wife says please sit down and i will stand up. Usually, old women have a habit of doing this. This is their culture.

Sometimes I offer my seat to an Elderly woman, and sometimes the elderly woman refuses to sit down. The Japanese young generation are cluess with manners.

I really do not like the posters. They should dipict two men in business suits instead of a couple.

They need to train everybody to say, " EXCUSE ME " when you bump or push someone on the train.

I hate it when I see a pregnant woman standing or an old person is standing. People are " HEARTLESS " in this country

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The sign should be in Nihango ONLY. And instead of showing a little girl dancing with automated robots on the JR T.V. They should show a live action demo of this scene.

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tmarie:

(I am paying for a service while seniors are not) this issue/topic is not about money. It's about simple basic mannerism and or common sense. Would you not give up your seat for your father/ mother/grandmother/grandfather? whom I believe are seniors.

(I teach all day. If anyone needs to sit down, it is I) I work 8 to 10 hours per day, a very challenging career but requires a lot of both my brains and physical energy. I really need the sit in the train. But my mannerism/common sense tell me that I should gaman. Some unfortunate people need the seat.

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i was on a train once and an elderly couple were looking for a seat. I gave mine up without a second thought, but noone else. Eventually some other guy bothered to get up. I was actually quite shocked that for a country supposedly full of manners, such simple manners are ignored.

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when my kid was under 3 years old I used to just rock up to the courtesy seat and say in English "OFF" while gesturing with my thumb. Who ever was sitting there at the time got off and ran into the next compartment.

Nowadays my kid can stand. 3 years old is old enough to not need a seat on the train but if I see an elderly person or disabled standing I usually start telling my son in Japanese how rude people are who ignore people with needs by hogging the courtesy seat and why he should grow up with manners and be a gentleman.

That usually clears the seat too.

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"Some unfortunate people need the seat."

I agree. 65 year old peppy grandma ain't the person that needs the seat. 45 year old salaryman who has worked all day does.

"These reasons alone, or along with simple respect for your elders, should encourage you to make way and give up your seat." Why should I be "respecting" some 65 year old in heels, a brandname bag, a shopping bag from some upscale supermarket who is capable of shopping all day? Just because she's older than me? Are you insane? Do you get up for everyone older than you? Where do you draw the line. Stand up for someone who is 64 but not 65?

TK, for all you know I suffer some illness. Maybe I "look" peppy but I'm not. Are you going to offer your seat to me? Do you sit at all on the trains? Maybe someone else needs the sit more than you but you don't think they do because they aren't "old". Honestly, your views are black and white and I see shades of gray.

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the only reason they designate silver seats is because everyone is too proud to stand up. This is done everywhere. But unlike Japan, all seats are just seats, and if you want to be courteous then we are taught to be so. Charitable. Mindful. There is no sign to teach this.

This is a cultural difference only, but one that would make a nice impact if accepted.

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Maybe the poster should depict Mr. Broken-leg with a nefarious grin, smashing those two selfish hooligans over the head with his crutch....WHAMM ! CRACK ! POW ! That might help.

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i love the whole poster series. they're frickin'hilarious!

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I just use my mysterious gaijin powers to ensure there is always an empty seat next to me.

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Are they saying that you should ignore disabled people when they are in your house? Maybe trying to stop the spate of murders of the elderyly and disabled because their families get too stressed out caring for them any more.

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(65 year old peppy grandma ain't the person that needs the seat. 45 year old salaryman who has worked all day does)

I have seen tired, certainly stressful middle-age salarymen who gave up their seats for 65 year old peppy grandma. It's not about because they pay for the tickets, it's because they have elderly parents at home and they have hearts ...too.

I don't know where or which culture you came from, but I think you are the most snobbish, selfish and heartless person I've come across on JT. All your posts indicate your true self.

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Seesaw, because I think the tired salaryman should sit down before nasty, brandname bag holding genki obanchan should? Well then call me snobbish, selfish and heartless. I can live with it.

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The poster makes it look as if the couple are eating the previous occupants of the priority seat.

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PepinGalarga at 02:14 PM JST - 4th February I sit on the courtesy seats when there's no people who really need them. I stay alert and dont go into a coma like the usual japanese person.

Those so-called "comas" are fake. They do that so they don't have to make eye contact with an old folk or pregger woman to make them feel guilty into giving it up. Watch 'em. They press their eyelids so tightly together you can almost seem 'em grimace.

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Seesaw, exactly!

Having manners requires selflessness. Selflessness required compassion. Compassion requires empathy. We should be teaching people to care about others. We should be teaching people to respect elders, be polite to all people, show consideration for others and to practice the simple actions that make up civilized behavior.

Modern life is making human kind selfish, stressed out and incapable of caring for others. This does not bode well for the future.

TMarie is actually out there teaching people. I hope only English and not how to behave. This person is exceedingly selfish and selfimportant. We need teachers who are selfless and exemplify civil and mannered behavior and respect for others.

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Does this really need to be in English?

one, it's for aesthetics.

two, after reading JT for 3 years, yes, yes it does.

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tmarie: (tired salaryman should sit down before nasty, brandname bag holding genki obanchan should)

I was talking about respect for the elderly, not about character or financial priviledge.

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Why do you "respect the elderly" you've never met or don't know? Seems like a rather silly attitude to have. You're both being very black and white with this and not answering questions. Where is the line in which you stand up for someone older than you? 5 years? 10? Do they need gray hair and wrinkles?

I'm more than happy to give up my seat (a fact you both seem to be missing as you would rather puff up your chest and feel better about how moral you are) for someone who "needs" it. Age shouldn't be a factor in this at all. A 22 year old with with a broken leg certainly needs it more than a genki 65 year old. Who do you give your seat to? By your posts you seem to suggest the 65 year old. I disagree. A 15 year old with a fever needs it more than a genki 70 year old. Again, who do you give it to?? I think it would be rather selfish of the elders to sit in the cases I have given you but I highly doubt you'd be going on and on about how selfish and heartless they are when in fact THEY are the ones being rude.

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Lovely poster, won't change d*ck!!

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I will agree with tmarie on one level:

If I see some oldie (and, the culprits are especially obahans) RUSH into the train looking like Hulk Hogan searching for his next victim as they bowl over every man, woman, and child in their path in hopes to plant their fannies down to rest their wearied daikon ashi from a hard day of shopping the name brand stores, I don't give them my space.

If they are genki enough to look like O.J. Simpson on a Heisman move just so they can get a seat, then they are genki enough to stand their a$$ there until they can learn to be nice - or until their stop comes.

I have no respect for rude people.

These are the same ones that stand in line at the supermarket at 10 a.m. everyday to be the first one to get a 1 yen discounted mikan. And they don't care who they have to maul to get it.

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"Why do you "respect the elderly" you've never met or don't know?"

Because it is nearly a globally recognized example of good and cultured manners to respect the elderly.

"Where is the line in which you stand up for someone older than you? 5 years? 10? Do they need gray hair and wrinkles?"

Common sense should help you out here. If someone is over retirement age, show some deference. If you are also retirement age, well... not an issue is it?!?

Show some common sense. 1. Give up your seat for obvious elderly people. 2. Give up you seat for obviously sick or injured people. 3. Give up your seat for people holding children. 4. If you see someone in pain or suffering give up your seat.

How hard is that to understand?

Do not judge them on their capacity to pay for tickets. Do not dismiss them because they are smiling and appear genki to you. And if your job is making you that tired, consider a change of career. Because it will not kill you to give up a seat for someone in need.

Have you got it now?

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One other thing. You have to think about risk to the elderly. Especially in Japan where fragile bones are common place with elders. A fall if the train stops suddenly may mean a few days of discomfort for most of us. But it can mean permanent disability for someone older with weak bones.

Same goes for people with less obvious ailments or problems. It is just good common manners and good common sense to yield a seat for older citizens. It is respectful and shows that you are a cultured and polite human being with a heart.

If we have to explain it to you any more clearly then I seriously fear for you.

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Exactly Japan. And if you live in the city you would know that the majority of "elderly" here are just as you've described. Mean, nasty and don't give a crap about anyone else. Why? Because they're the elderly so they get away with rude behaviour because folks let them.

TK, nope. Sorry. I don't "got it now" because you've not looking at all the factors. Care to answers the questions I've asked or continue to dodge them?

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no mercy for the obachans for me. As stated above, they are just busybodies, elbowing everyone out of their way and rush into the seats like madman and then begin talking boisterously. The trains are not crowded all day long. After the initial rush hour of 7-9 and 5-7 in the evening, most of the trains are not crowded. If they want to sit, they better avoid rush hours.

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mikihouse at 04:57 PM JST - 4th February "no mercy for the obachans for me. As stated above, they are just busybodies, elbowing everyone out of their way and rush into the seats like madman and then begin talking boisterously. "

You must live in Tokyo. The ones I experience don'T talk to anyone - they just sit there in their own pissyness. Anyway, one COULD argue they are the product of their environment. They don't MEAN to be pushy, but when NO ONE ever gives seats up to them, they gotta fight to survive. Still, screw those types, I say. They can choose to be civil or choose to become animals.

All that said, the pregger women get my most sympathy. I give up my seat to them anytime and every time.

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P.S. I live in Osaka, by the way. Hence my free usage of the word "obahan".

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Thanks tkoind2!

(We need teachers who are selfless and exemplify civil and mannered behavior and respect for others)

Precisely!

I think nothing or no one could change tmarie. She has her own mind/world. I just hope she'll live to be 100 and let's see how she feels then...probably sobbing herself to sleep at night...he he he.

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tkoind2/tmarie - It basically boils down to the fact that you should treat one as you expect to be treated. Granted, If Ms. busybody obachan knocks you for six on her way to the pew, then she doesn't deserve to be treated with respect. However, as I'm sure most on here will already know; be it driving down the road, sitting on the train or queueing at the local greengrocers, the arrogance of most citizens is that they will not let you go ahead of them if the lights are on red, you only have 1 item at the checkout or you are elderly with a stick wanting to sit down. Thus, the whole country is at war to get that seat, be first at the checkout and so on. Arrogance breeds arrogance and so you will find when the door of the train opens, some obachan will smash her way past in search of the seat as both you and I know nobody will have the kindness in their heart to offer it them!!!

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I always enjoy seeing half dead standing old crumpy obaachans, as long as there is an empty seat next to me. Sometimes they refuse to sit next to the "banjin" even if they look like dying in the next 5 minutes or so. Otherwise I very often give up my sit to someone I consider in need (not only elderly, for for example the young OL SLEEPING WHILE STANDING (!) in front of me). Usually they accept the seat with a smile and a lot of thank you (in Japanese or English sometimes).

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whitepocky: do you ever wonder why the obasan/obachan behave that way? They are locked up in their house/tiny flat all day long. Their social life circles only around the same obasan/obachan. And J women are known to be not so graceful after reaching 40 (sometimes even earlier).

And so when they are out of the house, they can't handle themselves well in the public. Some even became nervous in the crowd.

I'm not saying we could forgive them. But that's how the culture/way of life is here in Japan. And there's no way we could say they are wrong too. They just behave the way they are traditionally.

If you don't offer your kindness to them, it will be even worst. They'll bitch among themselves about your behaviour to the extent that you just have to get off the train......

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seesaw: The old birthday cake adage gets used for obachans. I like it, lol.

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Seesaw. I agree. Tmarie should live a long life and experience what it will be like to have people disrespect or ignore her.

"It basically boils down to the fact that you should treat one as you expect to be treated."

Agreed. But you should take it a step further and always hold the high ground with behavior. It betters who you are and betters society as a whole if people are willing to raise the bar with their own manners.

Tmarie. My Aunt used to say, if X jumped off a bridge would you too? Just because grumpy lady one is rude and lacks manners, does not mean you should follow suit. If I shoved back to every salaryman who rudely crushed into me on the train I wouldn't have energy to stand. I still say excuse me, sumimasen and try to be polite. It doesn't cost anything so you should like it. And it shows respect to the traditional manners of my family, my home town and my respect for others.

Do I get upset with people sometimes? Sure. But I don't let it ruin my day or compromise my behavior. I've got better things to think about. And I honestly like being nice to people when I can. And I hope they will pay it forward somehow.

You really should try to be a little more charitable. I promise it won't hurt.

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Its sort of funny to watch them on the trains, they usually pretend to be asleep when old folks get on the trains. No decency whatsoever at all.

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hahah please ignore your elderly or disabled people at home!

How stupid english is this!

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what does the "Please do it at home" sign have to do with giving up the seat to an elderly? the intention is there, but the verbiage is off.

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I think it started with posters of women putting on makeup on trains saying do-it-at-home and it seemed to have stuck with this 'campaign'.

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Well, the situation is very alike in Moscow undergroung. Recently, the administration of subway began to translate a request advising to passangers to give up sits to pregnant women. Yeah, seriously.

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The train companies need to install spikes on the silver Seats and those with a disabled, pregnant, OAP, injured swipe card can get them to retract... that'd keep selfish idiots out of seats they shouldn't be sittin' on.

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Ha, ha! What a joke! It's just like the signs telling you turn off your phone when standing near the disabled seats. Nobody gives a fat wombat's ball bag! The only way to get people to start being responsible is to take money off them. The sign is missing the ¥2,000 fine and the authority to issue it. Yet another waste of money on oh so 'kowaiii' advertising.

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my definition of manners (and that of anybody with any sense or cough manners) is that you treat people you don't know with respect and politeness. how you behave to strangers, not just to your friends, family, neighbours or colleagues is the true measure of someone's manners. In this regard Japan fails miserably

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I always offer my seat when i see an old person or a disabled. That's what everyone must do!

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I always offer my seat when i see an old person or a disabled.

I offer it to both, just to watch them fight it out.

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A true story: Two elderly women almost forgot to get off at their stop at Omotesando on the Chiyoda line this morning. Luckily they remembered just in time before the doors slammed shut. About 5 or 6 of us younger and more able-bodied passengers were almost trampled to death by the two grannies who charged off the train like a pair of raging bulls. They did offer a meek and sweet 'suimasen' on their way out, but most of us were picking ourselves off the floor at the time..

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Nessie - That's just mean-spirited.

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Mannerism is a very basic thing in life, and should have been taught at home or in schools.

I think all Japanese are aware of basic manners. Unfortunately, many don't practice them.

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I believe that this is mainly a Tokyo city thing. Down in Kansai I once experienced my mother-in-law politely ask some students to give their seat up on a busy train for an elderly woman. It was dealt with quietly, politely and with thanks. The students didn't seem too happy with the situation, but appeared to accept it as dealt with in a very Kansai way. The problem in Tokyo is that the more mature members of society don't give a damn when they see the same situation. People in Tokyo are too pre-occupied thinking about their money and are too selfish. In the UK people would deal with the situation in the same way as my mother-in-law did in Kansai and that way the younger generation are brought up to respect those rules because they see it firsthand from their peers. If your society has to put up posters reminding people to give up their seats to the elderly and disabled, then your society is already in deep trouble and it is way too late.

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Ossan, spare me the "meiwaku" crap. Japanese don't care about "meiwaku" >unless they are being called on it. Nothing wrong in Japan with being >rude, loud, annoying... UNLESS someone calls them on it.

tmarie, no it's not crap. The whole notion of not imposing on others is a fundamental part of the rather rigid Japanese culture. And it's really been in the last couple of decades that there has been a breakdown. Japanese people are the first to complain about other Japanese who are creating "meiwaku". In fact many of the older geberation, you know, the folks you don't want to give up a seat for, are often disgusted at younger people for their lack of manners. And not only just the young either, look at these mothers who let their little brats run amok in stores.

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The fact they have to advertise about this is a statement of how rude people in Tokyo have become.

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It is a common sense that if a young able person sitting in public transportation he or she supposedly have to give up own seat for any disabled, old, pregnant women. If this is not practiced in given society or city then that means there is serious social rottenness is going around and people should heal that social desease.

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I agree with northlondon,

its way too late for Japan. Charity as they often say begins at home.

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Although they probably have become more selfish in Tokyo, it is also a fact that crowding makes people less civil or cities become less civil as they become more crowded. Consider that Tokyo’s population is 28 million – that is nearly double New York City’s population, 4 times the size of London’s population. So compared to other major cities, is Tokyo citizenry out of control or is just the train etiquette lacking. I’m assuming the stereotype of polite Japanese must still apply in some way or I would expect trains and everywhere else in Tokyo to be out of control.

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I doubt if those posters are effective as it appears too late for that now. Maybe they could at least put real people in the roles such as the above and add a little drama to 'shock' the masses a little. The manga thing is too make-believe and will be ignored for sure.

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Since the kanji character on the left means "home" it's safe to assume this is a faithful translation from Japanese to English. It sure doesn't mean anything to me. I would assume it was perhaps referring to eating, but more probably to making out. Yet that is usually undertaken standing up in a packed car where the crowd provides cover.

I have always offered my seat to the elderly, infirm, a pregnant woman or anyone carrying a baby. In Asia people rarely extent such courtesies to strangers, however. So when I am seen doing this it usually shames a local into giving up his/her seat to the person needing it while I, as a foreigner, am directed to sit back down. These are distinct hierarchies of privilege; one a person requiring a seat for physical reasons and the other a visitor who should be given every comfort in order to gain a favorable impression of the place. The upshot is, I can make the gesture without suffering any discomfort. And I hate standing!!!!

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I doubt if those posters are effective as it appears too late for that now. Maybe they could at least put real people in the roles such as the above and add a little drama to 'shock' the masses a little. The manga thing is too make-believe and will be ignored for sure

As could be said for the masses. If it don't concern me, i.e. you are not in my affiliated group, fcuk 'em!!!

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Ossan, Japanese only care when they've been caught. They create more meiwaku then you're admitting and only feel bad when someone calls them on it. Japan revolves around the whole notion of "It isn't bad unless I get caught". Not giving up a seat to granny isn't bad UNLESS someone tells them to move.

Oh and I gave up my seat again today. Heartless cow that I am.

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Japanese only care when they've been caught.

That's a shame-based culture for ya. I guess we should count our blessings some still have a sense of shame!

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but oh whitepocky don't be mean, I think the guy with the broken leg is actually having a sweet tooth

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The crutches of the poster-within-a-poster look like a syringe -a very large syringe.

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I broke my leg two years ago and just getting into the station was a nightmare. Generally people would give up their seats and I would gratefully thank them. However, there were many times when hobbling through the crowded stations lots of harried salarymen who would walk straight at me expecting me to divert, I would purposefully swung my crutches wide and wack them in the shins and they would look surprised that I hit them.

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Nagdude: sorry to hear that

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Puffin, you're such a sweetheart!

Buses may be a better bet for the handicapped. Many a time riding the CTA in Chicago I observed those on the front bench, which is designated handicapped, had to move so someone's wheelchair could be secured after the driver had extended an electric arm to enable them to board.

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Sadly there is widespread ignorance about hidden disabilities.

There are a lot of people out there who have serious problems with their spine, joints, nerves, etc... which make it very painful to stand. Others who look healthy may actually be having dialysis, treatment for cancer or a number of conditions which make them weak and tired.

Never seat in a courtesy seat unless you really need it!

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This manner poster shows us how Japanese shameful, selfish, inconsiderate, thoughtless, irresponsible are. Especially kids and young people do NOT CARE about blind persons, handicapped persons, pregnant women, etc, etc. One of reasons is young mothers hardly tell kids to let elderly people have seats. This starts everything unreasonable. Mothers do not teach their kids right things and wrong things. Anyway kids and teenagers are always looking at emails and close their eyes when elderly persons come in fornt of your seats.

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It is a stupid poster. The little brats in their short pants and Elmer Fudd hats should all be banned from trains and platforms. They run around, cut in front of people waiting to board etc. I do not like those little kids at all. No manners, rude, an selfish. I grab them by the back of their collars if they try to jump in front of me...and give them a good reason to hate gaijin. I am in mid 50's, but I give up my seat when necessary.

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