6 March 2007

Chikan-free Commuting

This sign on the platform of Shibuya Station reminded me of my previous couple of posts about pervs. There were a few dotted along the platform (signs, that is, not pervs) to signify which carriages are safe for women to travel grope-free between the hours of 7.38am and 9.33am. The rest of the time must be a free-for-all. I am completely in awe of the attention paid to time-management in this country.

Despite my puerile remarks about my virgin grope-ee status, I know the
chikan situation is really serious and that many women have been traumatised by these arseholes. On one level, I admire the government's attempts to address it, but basically these measures are merely a societal band-aid that fails to look at the underlying attitude toward women in this country.

But, back to the sign: I love that it's in pink and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Hello Kitty appears on it.


  1. I have only had one bad experience...and a couple of not so bad experiences!!!

    But I think you are right about hello kitty...

    Like the `Abunai` sign on train doors that has kitty with a bandaid on her finger...To warn people against getting stuck in the doors.


    Great dream by the way! I liked the bus! I am willing myself to have a dream tonight that lets me drive a big double decker red bus ( oh and meet you, and get my pilots licence and relive my birthday too of course....oh and be at the beach! Like I said GREAT DREAM"!)

  2. Your personal chikan says:
    Great sign, GG.
    Two things confuse me:
    1) Why is there some Lego across the top?
    2) The final few hiragana characters read "tonarimasu" - "to be next to" … I wonder what the translators are not telling us.

  3. Oh my. That's just disgusting.

  4. I loved the perfect timing. One message to tell commuters that the train was 37 seconds late took longer than the actual delay. Got to love the Japanese

  5. Bit unlucky if you get a groping lesbian though eh? Then what?

  6. Yeah, lynn. I was going to say it was my idea of of heaven to have a women only carriage. But I'm not a groper at all.

  7. 'Tis truth, Vic. Th' Cap'n only gropes those women who request t'be groped. Bad form t'do otherwise...

  8. Well, that's just amazing. Instead of fixing the problem, you just provide a safe train for a few hours?

  9. Lulu: I remember your last chikan incident, you poor babe. I am intrigued about your couple of not-so-bad experiences, though. Do tell.
    Yeah, cartoon-like characters are used to depict just about everything. Wtf is all that about?!
    Hehe, that dream was very strange and so vivid. I can still remember most things about it. Hope you willed yourself into a bus dream.

    Boss: Great to have my own personal chikan, although being out of grope's way kinda defeats the purpose.
    1. The photo is of the ground and the Lego you see is blind footpath rubber bricks (braille for feet, I guess). It's absolutely everywhere. When I first got here I thought it was to direct you as to which way to go, which I guess it is, but for blind people. Hm, I feel a photo project coming on.
    2. Apparently, in this context, tonarimasu simply means 'is' or 'to be'. And when I say apparently, I mean that's what one of the translators at work told me before my eyes glazed over and I fell asleep with his talk of particles and exalted forms.

    Sassy: Yes, quite disturbing.

    Flirty: Yay, you're back! The timing thing is hilarious, as is the attention to detail. I remember watching a (200 metre long!) train back up a mere two metres because the driver hadn't stopped at the correct marker and the train, therefore, was not lined up properly with the markers on the platform that indicate where the carriage doors will be.

    Lynn: I don't know. I haven't heard of any groping lesbians.

    Groover: Yeah, I bet it would be!

    Cap'n-san: Ye do be a true gentleman.

    Robyn: Yes, this appears to be their way of dealing with it. But remember, this is Japan, and I think it's a positive (albeit tiny) sign of progress that they are doing this much. I am surprised they have even admitted there is a problem, instead of denying it or talking endlessly about what to do.

  10. Not so bad experiences mean, they copped a feel but all I had to do was look at them and they stopped. Sometimes they might not have been chikan and were just `accidently` touching my breasts or bum...but I doubt it! I thought they were bad at the time but nothing compares to the last time I guess!

    The last guy though, he was just evil!

    Of course, I would prefer not to have to deal with it at all!

  11. Thanks for putting me right, GG.
    I'll hassle Mayuko-Sensei with that one in Japanese class.