The Japanese have created some. . . disturbing. . . signage for the Tokyo subway. Not only are all the signs populated with pupil-less passerby-zombies staring with blank jealousy at the youthful protagonists, but the messages are a little mixed:


That’s right – please go HOME to pass out in your own vomit minus a shoe. It’s the civilized thing to do.


Kicking bookworms in the knee is also best done at home. Unless you don’t have bookworms there to kick. In which case you can disregard this sign.


Go tell it on the mountain! (Why are you trying to take the subway to the mountain anyway?)


I thought we already told you to go HOME before you drink yourself into a stupor. That’s where passing out is most enjoyable. And did you lose your shoe again?

And finally. . .


Yeah, that’s right. The only appropriate place to playfully grab a woman and shove her off the edge of a platform into danger is. . . the BEACH, you Crocs-wearing Neanderthal! Geez!

Now you are prepared to ride the Tokyo subway. You’re welcome.


  1. #1 Pierce R. Butler
    March 23, 2010

    That first guy didn’t vomit, he just spilled his beer, poor misunderstood salaryman.

    That knee-kickee is being fondled from her left side – the utterly-focused origami artist is the least of her problems.

    And maybe people who wear hats that large on the subway should be pushed onto the tracks, yaknowwhaddimean?

    What bothers me more about that last picture is the way those two palefaces are flinging eyes all over the station.

  2. #2 trina
    March 23, 2010

    On the last one I think the girl is tipsy and the guy is saving her while dancing a little jig! Very romantic actually. I find it disturbing that the no-eyed zombies are reading little books. At the very least that makes them literate bystanders.

    Also, I would think that something in America would depict some ruffians, but not in Tokyo, their “subway criminals” are strictly business people. That makes me laugh most of all!

  3. #3 Snail
    March 24, 2010

    Oh, lordy! What a treasure trove. There’s even one with someone apparently swimming through the doors on the subway train.

    At least the salarymen are quiet drunks. Not like those exuberant, backpack-toting, picknicking youths.

  4. #4 David N. Brown
    March 24, 2010

    “pupil-less zombies”
    As a connoisseur of zombie movies, and author of a zombie novel and stories, I must say, the absence of pupils is not a common characteristic of zombies. That feature appears most notably in the “Evil Dead” films, whose villains are hard to classify, but quite different from the classic “Romero” zombies.

  5. #5 Isis
    March 24, 2010

    BioE, you crack my ass up.

  6. #6 Jessica Palmer
    March 24, 2010

    Pierce: yeah, it’s not vomit, but I just couldn’t resist misinterpreting the strange cartoony graphics whenever possible.

    David: I bow to your zombie knowledge. I feel the “Evil Dead” look is a good one for Tokyo subway zombies, don’t you. (Technically, I concede we do not know they are zombies at all, since I don’t see any of them eating brains, but I have my suspicions.)

  7. #7 Joseph Hewitt
    March 24, 2010

    Wild. The oddest sign of this type that I’ve seen in Korea is a list of rules for a beach. They had all the regular ones- “no littering”, “no campfires”, “keep your dog on a leash”. Then, at the bottom, “no shamanism”. I guess they were having a problem with it.

    It’s good to have BioE back from blogcation. :)

  8. #8 Glendon Mellow
    March 24, 2010

    These are hilarious!

    Here in Toronto, our transit system has started airing announcements reminding passengers that it’s against the law to assault transit personnel. As if the law doesn’t apply while we’re in tunnels. And as if the subway zombies care.

  9. #9 AMW
    March 24, 2010

    The last one is clearly saying, “For the love of god, please don’t wear Crocs in public unless you’re on the beach (or gardening, or one of the few other places where it is acceptable to inflict your bad fashion sense on the rest of us).”

  10. #10 Laurence
    March 24, 2010

    There is a striking shift in the 2010 series (#2,3) with clear indication of breeding and viable offspring among the pupil-less subway zombies (sorry, what else are we goig to call them?)

  11. #11 David N. Brown
    March 24, 2010

    “I concede we do not know they are zombies at all, since I don’t see any of them eating brains…”
    Heresy! Only revisionist/parody “Return of the Living Dead” zombies eat brains.

  12. #12 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 27, 2010

    I find some of the idiosyncrasies of this culture that places such overt emphasis on honor, courtesy, respect, and manners fascinating. For example, the big-city large department stores have elevator attendants–all conventionally attractive young women dressed in business suit-like uniforms with pillbox hats–who literally shove waiting passengers into the elevator, packing them in as tightly as possible.

    I was once on an elevator in an Odakyu store in Tokyo, and there was an elderly woman using a cane to stay upright next to me. As more and more people were shoving harder and harder into the elevator, this poor woman was being crushed. I saw the misery on her face, so I loudly said, “Stop! Stop!” and pointed at the woman being crushed.

    Everyone involved, including the woman being crushed, paused, looked at me like I was a complete lunatic for a moment, and then resumed slamming into the elevator.

    But in a large variety of other ways, Japanese people are paragons of politeness and hospitality.

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