23 June, 2012, marked the 30th anniversary of the Tohoku Shinkansen Line. Its original first stop, Omiya Station, acted as a lightning rod for Japanese railfans called toritetsu (lit. Photographers of Iron). A normally peaceful trainspotter, when packed into small spaces the toritetsu can become noisy and obnoxious to those around it.
When it became apparent that Omiya Station was being overrun with these train lovers, station staff took the necessary measures by corralling them into a special section cordoned off by rope. This turned out to be an effective safety measure as no injuries were had during the ordeal.
However, the confinement of dozens of toritetsu eagerly waiting to get a perfect shot of the 10:25pm train caused them to exercise their natural defense mechanism; becoming surly and annoying.
“Back the f*** up!” and “Lower your head s*** for brains!” were among the cacophony of obscenities being hurled among the amateur photographers. This was all happening mere feet from ordinary passengers just trying to get home.
Beleaguered station attendants responded in language that the mob could understand by hollering “Shut the f*** up!” while other passengers politely described the scene as “a bit much” as they took photos and video with their mobile phones. While the toritetsu were trying to photograph a rare spectacle, they themselves became one. It’s all so meta.
It’s great to be really passionate about your hobby, but whatever it is you’re into, try not to piss off other people around you. It’s just common sense. Also, the staff of Omiya Station who managed to maintain order during this debacle deserves some praise.
[ Read in Japanese ]