My husband and I recently returned from spending two glorious weeks in Japan, a wonderful, crowded, dynamic, beautiful country. Everyone was so polite and we delighted in everyone we met from city to city. Drinking beer, eating amazing food, drinking whisky, smoking cigars, drinking more whisky (seriously unbelievable whisky and so cheap!).
Using the train system to get around my eyes were drawn to the colour and brashness of the advertising on the trains. At first I was too overstimulated by everything (if you've visited Japan, you'll know what I mean) to make any sense of what the posters were advertising. Then, as my Japanese is not great, I couldn’t understand the copy anyway. Somehow we then came up with a game called ‘What is this advertising?’ where we ignore the brand name (if there is one) and try to decipher what is being advertised based on the imagery alone. When we started the game, in the beginning, I was reminded of Bill Murray in the film Lost In Translation, trying to film the whisky commercial.
At first I was like.
Then I was a bit more.
And finally I got it. Kind of. Not really. But I tried!
Over the next few days as I got used to the advertising style, I was able to make out more of what some of them were selling, but in all honestly some were just too surreal for me to figure it out. I took some photos of my favourites on one train journey to Tokyo. If only advertising were this bright and cheerful all the time. It would make trains more fun that’s for sure! Anyway, it was a super fun game though and one I would highly recommend be played by anyone in any country where they don’t speak the language. I am sure there are some English language ads that would perplex even the heartiest investigator.