Join the Defense Force, and you can develop new strengths, protect your country, and…pass giant bobble heads to mysterious shadow men?
Spend a bit of time in Japan, you’ll likely catch a few glimpses of Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) recruitment posters on train station walls or in shop windows. But the most recent recruitment poster released in Chiba Prefecture doesn’t quite seem to be fulfilling its mission — instead of getting people interested in joining the JSDF, the posters are apparently scaring people away with a rather disconcerting image.
このポスターの生首 受け渡し、みたいなデザインは どういう意味を 表して… 気持ち悪い、としか言えない https://t.co/sZl4FmnxAA—
ひろみ (@hiromi19610226) February 28, 2016
In this photo, posted by @hiromi19610226, we see a uniformed man facing a shadowy figure, handing him a large, round, disembodied head. At the top of the poster, it reads, “Protect our beautiful country ~Connecting our youth’s strength with the future~” and towards the bottom, in bold black lettering, it reads “Recruiting cadets for the Defense Force”.
@hiromi19610226’s reaction to the perplexing poster? “I wonder what they’re trying to say with this passing-of-a-freshly-severed-head design… All I can say is, it’s disturbing,” she writes.
The “freshly-severed head” belongs to Ei-kun, Chiba’s Provincial Cooperation Office’s mascot for the JSDF. In the poster, he has the same determined expression and smile as ever, despite having been obviously decapitated.
▼”Look into my eyes… and join me.”
@hiromi19610226 isn’t alone either. Here’s what the rest of the internet had to say:
“How could one describe this? lol”
“I don’t get it.”
“It’s like they’re making us understand the fate of the Defense Force members in the near future. So eerie.”
“This is why I’m quitting the DF to become a policeman.”
“I get the feeling they really thought about ways they could increase their number of personnel.”
“Anpanman! It’s your new face!”
▼Anpanman, a well-known kid’s superhero whose head is made of sweet red bean-filled bread, often pulls off chunks of his face to feed to people…
Whatever message they were trying to deliver with this poster, I don’t think it’s getting through!