Friday, July 08, 2005

Label It!

Despite the fact that space is at a premium and despite the fact that the Japanese language is very subtle and implicit and despite the fact that street names and addresses are entirely useless for finding a location, everything in Japan appears to be very well labeled. Numerous signs describe what's for sale, where things are, what things are, or how to use things. Many busy street corners have detailed area maps, buildings have pictorial billboards showing all the stores and restaurants they contain, signs on the side of buildings (see the pic to the left) show what is on each floor, fire hydrants have descriptive signs, everything, even the toilet, has instructions, many restaurants have picture menus or fake food displays in front, books have slim paper wrappers that describe the contents, etc. Even the prevalence of uniforms is part of the labeling. Travel agent counters, many stores, and all sorts of civil servants wear detailed uniforms. (The last picture below shows Lisa filming with a uniformed man in the background.)


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