Japan has always been a country that is well-known for its fondness of rules and regulations and their desire to be perceived as polite and well-mannered at all times.
Japan’s largest subway system, the Tokyo Metro is renowned for its eye-catching posters that kindly request that commuters mind their manners, that have been around since 1974. Each year, the Metro would introduce a new theme and put up different monthly designs. However, some are obviously more memorable than others and arguably the most famous ones belong to graphic artist Bunpei Yorifuji.
Yorifuji’s posters held pride of place in highly visible places on the subway for 3 years. Starting in 2008, his designs became hugely popular and have replicated and parodied all over the internet.
Yorifuji studied at Musashino Art University and cites his influences as American artist Edward Hopper and Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai. His posters are so popular because they take on a slightly different stance. Rather than telling people “Don’t do this” he offers them alternative areas where that kind of behavior is acceptable, choosing to display a positive rather than a negative message…So to the person drinking, the poster states “Please Do This In The Pub” or to the person lying down, “Please Do This At Home.” It is a novel concept indeed and judging by how long the Metro kept Yorifuji’s posters and persistently requested more from him, they have clearly been a success.
Fan’s of Yorifuji’s designs that regularly travel on the Tokyo subway will be pleased to hear that he has been invited back to create yet more posters that will appear on the subway later in 2012.
Check out 33 more posters at Gakuranman.