Japanese rail company uses ukiyo-e posters to ask commuters to mind their manners on the train

01.April.2017 | SPOT

The ever-growing series of traditional artworks is grabbing everyone’s attention for its beauty and humour.

One of the many things we love about Japan is the way that art blends into everyday public life. Whether it’s custom-wrapped trains, plastic food replicas, or Hello Kitty-adorned construction sites, everywhere you look there are eye-catching images that inadvertently grab our attention.

One place that’s particularly well-known for its arty posters and banners is the Japanese rail system. Here, we’ve seen “manner posters” that ask commuters to refrain from things like eating and manspreading, but now there’s a brand new type of manner poster on the rail network that’s got everyone talking.

Inspired by traditional ukiyo-e woodblock prints, the new series from Seibu Railways is called “Denshanai Meiwaku-zue (電車内迷惑図絵), a title in line with traditional ukiyo-e naming conventions, which translates to “Picture of Annoyances Inside the Train”.

▼ The first poster in the collection is “Please let others sit comfortably“.

The second print in the series, called “Please turn down your volume“, features groups of chattering animals, harking back to the style of Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831–1889), an acclaimed caricaturist known for his images of demons and animals.

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