The Beer Trolly
More free advertising?
One of the things you notice immediately about Japan is the overload of visual advertising and usage of imagery to communicate to the public. The first time I drove into the city from the airport via a taxi I couldn't focus, there were so many neon glows from the lights of all the signs. Everything has advertising or company logos printed across it. Most places have logos of other things which have even more logos sponsoring a strange 3rd party type advertising with unrelated, and often rival companies, all pushing and selling other companies products by giving them free advertising. Combine all of thi on top of the already existing slew of Japanese written ideograms known as kanji (visual symbols) plastered over everything, and also katakana and English words, throw it all together and you get a fiesta of color and imagery. Quite the overload of visual input, and if you try to focus and read it all you are libal to suffer a dizzying headache. This makes Japan truly unique in more ways than one, and I personally enjoy their cultural usage of image as a means of conveying a multitude of data and information.
Comming from small Bozeman in big Empty blue sky Montana, the only iconic image one gets bomarded with is the occassional golden arches of McDonalds. The rest is pretty subdued. Even New York City, with as much as the open visual advertising I see each time I visit, is weak and watered down compared to the richness of image found here bumpkinville Japan. If any of you are lucky enough to make it to the Japanese islands, be sure to keep an eye out for the various colorful sights! And bring lots of film.