On Sept. 30, Typhoon Jelawat struck the eastern part of Aichi prefecture, Japan and then proceeded to move north, causing flight delays and affecting public transportation across the eastern region of the main island.

In Tokyo, train schedules throughout the city were disrupted and one section of the JR Chuo Line was even forced to shut down before trains could make it back to their stations, trapping passengers inside the cars until weather conditions improved.

Now, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that nothing can ruin a day (week?) like being held up in an unexpected transportation or traffic accident. The general mood among passengers in those stranded cars must have been pretty sour. Which is why it’s amazing one foreigner had the pluck to take out his guitar and start serenading his fellow passengers while they waited for the storm to pass.

The video above was uploaded to YouTube and Nico Nico Douga yesterday, where it quickly grabbed the attention of viewers.

According to the video, it was night when the trains stopped and the air inside the train was tense as people were tired and anxious to get home. That’s when the performer, identified as Andrew Sloman, took his acoustic guitar in hand and attempted to relax the mood with a spontaneous performance of his own song, “Tokyo Rising.”

As the sound of acoustic guitar echoed through the train car, a small crowd formed to watch Sloman and even sing along with him during the chorus.

While in the video it appears he succeeded in lifting people’s spirits, Japanese internet opinion over Sloman’s actions is split. While some people applaud him for livening up an otherwise miserable situation, many Japanese internet users criticize Sloman for showing a lack of consideration for people on the train who may have wanted to wait out the storm in silence.

One person comments: “He’s able to get away with this because he’s a foreigner. All Japanese people know that there are unspoken rules when riding the train: turn your phone on silent and don’t answer it, keep your voice low, keep the doorways clear. If a Japanese person did this, they’d get bashed without hesitation.

Yeah… Even if they know the unspoken rules, certainly not all Japanese people follow them. Regardless, the older Japanese man sitting to the left of Sloman with his earphones in seems to find the music a nuisance, and it’s difficult to imagine a Japanese people getting the same rise out of the crowd by doing thing.

How would something like this go over in your country? Give us your two cents in the comments below!

Source: Nico Nico Douga, YouTube, Andrew Sloman

[ Read in Japanese ]