Sumo bicycle training

How adorable is this?! A police-sumo publicity photo about bicycle safety. I guess one rule they didn’t cover is “don’t bike if you are wearing a super long robe.” It’s a good thing that most Japanese bicycles have a low cross bar (what is classified as a girl’s bike in US). I wish I had been on the ground taking the photo of the big boys navigating the obstacle course!

News story from Mainichi
A sumo wrestler weaves his way carefully around a line of pins outside the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward on Dec. 7, 2011. Twenty-two wrestlers from the Hakkaku-Beya sumo stable turned out to improve their bike-riding skills at a class organized by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The class — which included sections on maneuvering, crossing intersections and negotiating curving roads — is part of the MPD’s traffic accident reduction program, though this is apparently the first time the officers have conducted one just for sumo wrestlers.

Utility box worker strikes a pose

Sometimes you’re just biking on your way somewhere, and suddenly an unexpected sight distracts you. This utility box worker has everything: great uniform, safety vest, helmet, towel, tools, orange hair, and one leg bent pose. I am glad that men like these are keeping Tokyo functioning.


Fuck art, let’s kill

Tokyo easily lulls you into a sense of safety in public, unlike any other city in the world. This is a country where even the mob puts on a friendly face to foreigners. That’s why it’s all the more absurd and arresting to see violent imagery. On a date with a girl dressed as an anime princess, this fairly ordinary guy’s t-shirt reads, “Fuck art, let’s kill.” I hope the princess doesn’t understand English.

Fall traffic safety, promoted by skating queen

I love how Japan uses celebrities to promote mundane social topics. In this case, figure skater Takahashi Diasuke is promoting fall’s traffic safety, along with our friend peepoo kun, the police mascot at the bottom of the poster. I am not sure what figure skating has to do with urban traffic. But it seems that we may be safer in Tokyo’s streets if our eyebrows are nicely groomed, our mouth open in a giant O, and our outfit tastefully coordinated.

Adorable policeman adds beauty to festival

Tokyo has an excessive number of simply adorable male cops on foot. (No, there are no women police walking the beat). A festival or street event just brings more of them out in public. And unlike the US, many of them are good looking. While the Japanese seniors were taking photos of the procession of monks, I took advantage to capture this image of public safety.

Related post: Emperor’s annual speech is great occasion to view wide variety of police outfits

Meeting Pipo-kun (ピ-ポくん)

Pipo-kun (ピ-ポくん) in Marunouchi

Only in Japan do the police have a super-cute mascot, Pipo-kun (ピ-ポくん). On my first day of my prestigous fellowship, outside of corporate headquarters in Marunouchi Tokyo, I had to go up and shake his hand.

In a city that most foreigners consider super safe, the mascot and his human companions were promoting safety by handing out mesh bags for bicycle baskets and paper tissues.