It wouldn't be an unfair generalization to say that Japan is a society that values established rules of etiquette, but in recent years a growing emphasis has been placed on paying attention to manners while commuting by train. While these guidelines aren't always followed, things like speaking loudly, talking on the phone, eating, or taking up too much space are discouraged.

Understandably, adherence to rules can be easily lost in the mix when you are hurrying home after a long day at work, or visiting from another country. As a helpful reminder in 2008, the Tokyo Metro system put out a series of comical posters (in English and Japanese) titled "Please do it at home!", depicting inappropriate behavior on trains. Here's an example, put out during Halloween season.

Just last year, Seibu Railways launched a similar campaign to help facilitate understanding of manners among visiting tourists, this time using the ukiyo-e art style of traditional Japanese woodblock prints as instructional posters in stations and on trains for pleasing aesthetics and to catch the eyes of increasing tourists. They even feature the talking animal motif that legendary artist Kyosai used so much.

"Please let others sit comfortably."

"Please turn down your volume."

"Please do not rush onto trains."

The pictures ever come with an ukiyo-e-style title of "電車内迷惑図絵" (denshanai meiwaku zue), which means "Pictures of nuisances within a train car" to give it a nice Edo-period touch. Hopefully the artistic style makes an impact and helps a few people out with their commuting etiquette.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.