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.
The third instalment in the series is “Please do not rush onto the trains“. This beautiful sakura-themed print features the star of a well-known ukiyo-e painting from 1794 called “Otani Oniji III in the Role of the Servant Edobei”, which was painted by Tōshūsai Sharaku. The top-knotted gent with the splayed hands has now been inserted into a set of train carriage doors, with his dramatic expression making him an example of what not to do when boarding a train.
▼ The new Edo-era style posters with a “ukiyo-e touch” can be found on banners inside train carriages…
阿鼻教官 (@typeYoshi) December 17, 2016
▼ And at train stations on the Seibu rail network.
西武鉄道のマナーアップキャンペーン『電車内迷惑図絵』第三弾！今回のテーマは『駆け込み乗車するべからず！』 #西武鉄道 #ポスター #浮世絵 #マナー https://t.co/DHX6emo8N4—
みほ (@dokurock1983) March 25, 2017
Seibu Railways have been releasing one new poster in the series seasonally, so we’re looking forward to seeing more of these intriguing new designs in the future. Judging by other Japanese rail etiquette campaigns, we still need to be cautioned about things like wearing backpacks and walking while using smartphones, so we can’t wait to see what that looks like in the world of ukiyo-e!