In 2016, Seibu Railway released a series of posters, which it displayed inside its trains and on platforms. An instant hit, they have become so popular, they have made their way abroad.

Drawn by illustrator Takahiro Hidowaki, the posters depict ukiyo-e-like manga in modern day situations to entice passengers to be considerate of their fellow train commuters.

Sankei Shimbun

One image shows a woman wearing a bulky kimono and playing with her hair. The twist is that she is holding a cellphone and is sprawled luxuriously on the train seats, occupying more space than she should, with three people showing exaggeratedly anguished faces in the foreground. The caption reads: “Please let others sit comfortably.”

The Edo-era inspired pictures are humorous and beautifully drawn, and have become a hit with people visiting Japan. When the posters came out, foreign passengers even inquired if it was possible to buy some of the posters as merchandise.

Sankei Shimbun

By - grape Japan editorial staff.