Written entirely in Japanese and without any English text, foreign visitors are wondering what on earth these ads mean.
Visiting a foreign country where English isn’t widely spoken can have you scratching your head at the best of times, but lately in Japan there’s something that’s been stopping everyone in their tracks.
It’s a series of posters that’s currently being displayed on trains and at stations around Tokyo, featuring a close-up image of the President of the United States. The imposing image shows Trump mid-speech, looking to his right with a furrowed brow and pointed finger, alongside a hashtag written in Japanese that takes up space just above his shoulder.
▼ The ad has been spotted on trains on the Yamanote loop line.
▼ As well as at Shimbashi Station…
▼ And at Ikebukuro Station.
Without any English text to accompany the image, foreigners unable to read Japanese have been wondering what this stern-looking image could be inferring. To answer the question, the hashtag #トランプ政権 translates to #TrumpAdministration, and the “あなたの知らない今がある” that can be seen alongside the Twitter logo is read as “Anata no shiranai ima ga aru”, which loosely translates to “There is a ‘now’ you don’t know about”.
The use of Trump’s image to front the advertising campaign appears to be linked to his constant presence in the global news media, with the ad being used to inspire commuters to find out more about current events and worlds they don’t know about through Twitter.
The campaign also includes other images and hashtags connected to current “hot topics” in Japan such as #プレミアムフライデー (#PremiumFriday), a new initiative that encourages workers to leave the office at 3:00 p.m. on the last Friday of the month, and #保育園に入りたい (#HoikuenHairitai/#IWantToGetIntoDaycare), which addresses the lack of childcare options around the country.
Twitter is certainly drawing attention to their new posters by using the U.S. President’s image in their new campaign. Whether or not Trump knows his face is appearing on Japan’s rail network, however, remains to be seen.