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Jesus Urges Proper Etiquette On Tokyo Subway

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If you think the Tokyo subway is a crazy place now, you should have seen it in the '70s. From 1976 to 1982, Japanese transit officials apparently plastered Tokyo's subway stations with posters that used imagery from history, religion, and popular culture to urge good subway etiquette. Art and culture blog Pink Tentacle unearthed the whole series, but Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow has singled out perhaps the strangest one of all. Yes: Jesus, at the Last Supper, is telling you not to leave your umbrella on the train.

Pink Tentacle helpfully translates:

The text at the top of this poster--which shows Jesus overwhelmed with umbrellas at the Last Supper--reads "Kasane-gasane no kami-danomi" (lit. "Wishing to God again and again"). The poster makes a play on the words "kasa" (umbrella) and "kasane-gasane" (again and again).

Other fun posters include Napoleon making sure to display his fare card, John Wayne shooting out cigarettes during non-smoking hours, Superman stuck in some gum, and Hitler--yes, Hitler, albeit a Chaplin parody--taking up too much space on the seats. See them all here.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.