2 oktober 2007

The Japan Ad Council - Advertisements for the common good


Yesterday, when I got back from yet another nice dinner with friends, I saw this poster again. I think I wrote about it last year as well, and I was surprised to see that this campaign is still being continued. "Life is important. Treasure life. But rather than this being said to you a thousand, or ten thousand times, somebody saying 'YOU are important' can really make one live."

Well, the translation is not as powerful as the original, but I hope you understand that this text strikes me every time I see it. I do not have any recollection of seeing a text like this in a public space in any other country, and I am shocked that it is apparently deemed necessary to remind people of this.

And yet, the experiences and talks with Japanese friends I have had these past weeks all sort of support the claim that it is necessary to remind people. When I was walking with Daan through Kabukicho this weekend the loneliness of people just hit you in the face. And even though everyone Japanese around me can't wait to get married, finding someone here seems pretty difficult, despite all the talk of goukon (合コン).

Despite all the collectivism and sympathy for others (おもいやり) Japanese boast to have, when rhetoric is left behind it seems like many here find it very hard to connect. And this is apparently a reason for this Ad Council, which is made up of many different partners, to stand up and try to remind people. "For tomorrow, let's start today." (明日のため、今始めよう-公共広告機構)

PS A nice link for the Sinologists... I believe this is a Chinese website which comments on the Japanese way of instilling morals.... Am I right?!

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