The Naked Doctor

Mike Grist Ads / Signs, Japan Leave a Comment

The Japanese health system caters to each and every sub-section of society; Akihabara maids, cos-players, otakus, and the naked. When the naked first arrived at the Doctor’s office it was quite uncomfortable, contributing to the ever-present Japanese angst about station and rank- factors which play into every strata of social behaviour, determining how to talk, how to stand, how deep to bow, etc… From this discomfort sprung a wide range of etiquette questions: Did disrobement lower or raise the status? Was it gender specific, did naked women around naked men go up a few degrees, necessitating deeper bows and more …

Superior Japanese Knives

Mike Grist Ads / Signs, Japan 7 Comments

Sometimes you just have to know where the knives be at. Sometimes you’ll be cooking a goose, and need to trim that darn bird. Othertimes you need to sew your pants up and you need a darn knife to cut a thread. Other times you just need to stick a knife in a darn tomato and carve it like a jack-o-lantern. So when I saw this crazy ad in the Shimbashi Caretta mall tourist zone, alongside ads and directions for 100-yen stores, limousine buses, and foreign exchange spots, I knew that something had gone very right in the world. A …

Please do it at the beach

Mike Grist Ads / Signs, Japan 8 Comments

Recently this ad has been cropping up in train stations all round Tokyo: I’m glad as it’s about time- the number of people I’ve seen hemi-sliced like bacon rashers by those executioner-style train doors is more than I care to think about. Shlump! His upper body rolls around messily inside the carriage. Everybody politely ignores it, as they do if a drunk person has a food escape or a homeless person comes on and emanates. So, it’s certainly about time. Of course they could just de-sharpen and de-fang the train doors so people weren’t forever getting hemi-sliced, but then what …

Coppertone Bikini Girls

Mike Grist Ads / Signs, Japan 19 Comments

Coppertone have gone nuts recently in Shibuya station, plastering at least the Yamanote line north-bound platform with pictures of bikini-clad women (and little girls) with a dog biting their butts. When I first saw this I did a double-take, turned the other way, saw a similar ad where a little girl was getting her butt bit, and started to wonder if the whole thing wasn’t just a bit too weird for its own good. Odd.

The ‘other’ Colonel Sanders

Mike Grist Ads / Signs, Japan, Japangrish 7 Comments

His name is Koichi Sanders. He and the Colonel were divided at birth, despite not sharing a common mother nor being born in the same country or year. After that tragic separation, they never saw each other again, but for in the distant redness of Red land. They live in Red land, which is why the space behind them is always red. Their uniquely black and white faces cause them endless shame, as everywhere they go they are mistaken for each other. This is a big problem, since they do not even speak the same language! Koichi Sanders considers the …

Bruce, Cameron, Arnold, and Tommy

Mike Grist Ads / Signs, Japan 8 Comments

Hollywood actors often do ads in Japan that they would never do back in the US. I don’t know why really, though I suspect it’s because that kind of ‘selling out’ in America is more likely to negatively impact their status than it would here. A few years back they had David and Posh Beckham in small cars saying- ‘my beautiful small’ at us. Brad Pitt has done low-key advertising for Edwin jeans for as long as I’ve seen Edwin jeans. Back when 24 was huge Kiefer Sutherland reprised Jack Bauer to sell Calorie Mate energy drink. Below are a …

Ikebukuro Excavation Card

Mike Grist Ads / Signs, Japan 2 Comments

On my way through Ikebukuro the other day I spotted this poster for an Ikebukuro ‘excavation card’: I had a look around and found the same poster on this pillar: “Curioser and curioser,” I said to myself. Just what is an excavation card?