the untouchable city by nim
April 4, 2009, 8:05 pm
Filed under: City Studies, Group, Tokyo, Travel


The “untouchables” refers to the vast majority of the Japanese population who have conformed to a lifestyle where you make as little contact as possible with the public realm i.e automatic doors, taps, toilet flushers, and the obvious mask culture. This mentality has more to do with respect for other citizens than it does with the fear of catching disease. The hand grips on the metro provide a possible exception to this rule; after all they are a complete necessity for a crowded train- you wouldn’t want to be bumping into other people as this would be disrespectful. Yet we hear so much about the potential for germs to be passed from hand to hand on these public rails. This would suggest a number of different plausible explanations: the trains are cleaned extensively, people’s hands are clean to begin with (so less harmful bacteria is passed from hand to rail), or perhaps the metro travelers simply understand that in order to maintain an atmosphere of respect and harmony, they must compensate their own well-being. If the later is true; this mentality is certainly an aspect of wabi sabi.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

awesome website nim!.. did do any sketches?.,,
i want to see!!..


Comment by neu

did you do any sketches**… lol

Comment by neu

i didn’t do any sketches while i was out there. but im hoping ppl will add some. glad you like the site so far…..this is only day 1 of about 7.

Comment by nimesh88

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