A new study from 16 major railway companies across Japan has revealed a list of the worst possible social gaffes you can make while commuting according to the Japanese. The “questionnaire on manners,” which was conducted by the Japan Private Railway Association and polled over 2,500 people, found only 28% who believe that manners on the train have improved. Japan is famous in the world for its well-mannered and overtly polite culture, so it’s quite surprising seeing so many answers that the Japanese find truly unforgivable.
1. Bag placement (37.3%)
2. Noisy conversation (36.9%)
3. Inappropriate seating behavior (34.5%)
4. Rudely getting on and off the train (34.3%)
5. Loud music leaking through headphones (23.2%)
6. Using smartphones (walking, not paying attention, etc.) (21.5%)
7. Drunk people (15.4%)
8. Applying makeup and cosmetics (15.1%)
9. Leaving trash behind (14.2%)
10. Eating and drinking in crowded cars (10%)
Foreigners wondering what could possibly be so bad about bag placement have clearly never had some oblivious shmuck’s backpack rammed into their ribs, or worse, snag and rip out their headphones as they’re exiting the train. It also included people taking up empty seats for their bags and luggage.
Seating behavior is another common sense answer that people continuously fail to follow. The answers for why seating behavior is such an annoyance included parents letting their children stand on seats with their shoes off, passengers leaning on you to catch a few winks, and passengers stretching out their legs and knees. Otherwise known as “manspreading” in the west.
Farther down on the list, other improper train etiquette included gaming, sitting on the floor, sitting in priority seating, and reading on crowded cars. It would seem that some would rather have us all suffer together— arms stuck to our sides and eyes staring down at our shoes during the morning rush hour.