Train groper mistaken identity concern for vast majority of Japanese

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Do you think men-only carriages are needed? graph of japanese statisticsIn the past I have looked at women-only carriages, but this time I present a survey from iShare looking at train groping and men-only carriages.

Demographics

Between the 10th and 15th of July 2009 543 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 57.5% of the sample were male, 33.3% were in their twenties, 31.5% in their thirties, and 35.2% in their forties.

I’m not in favour of men-only carriages (although I strongly support women-only) as I’m not really sure they’d change anything; I’d love to know why people wanted them, as surely it cannot just be due to the fear of being misidentified as a groper.

For a sillier look at train segregation, here’s a ranking survey I translated previously.

Train groper experiences?

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“I’m on the train!” annoys two in three Japanese

Please do it at home poster with statisticMaybe I’ve just been in Japan too long, but I’ve recently noticed train phone manners going downhill, with talking on the phone being an obvious hate, but also people who leave their keypress beep on irritate me a lot. These feelings seemed to be shared by most people, according to this recent survey conducted by Point On Research and reported on by japan.internet.com into mobile use onboard trains.

Demographics

On the 2nd of February 2009 exactly 1,000 mobile phone using members of the Point On monitor group completed a private online questionnaire. Exactly 50.0% of the sample were female, 20.0% in their teens, 20.0% in their twenties, 20.0% in their thirties, 20.0% in their forties, and 20.0% aged fifty or older.

When I go abroad this sort of behaviour doesn’t really bother me, perhaps because I am accepting that it is the social norm for the country I am visiting, or perhaps it is because I’m often trying to sleep on my daily commute.

The picture accompanying this post is a Tokyo manners poster, one of a series of posters they have produced, with today’s statistic added for a more accurate representation of the situation!
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What should be on the shinkansen

Trains always have a certain charm for me, and the shinkansen (bullet train) more than most, but sometimes I feel there are things missing, with no wireless LAN even on the newest models being the most obvious omission. This survey from goo Ranking looked at what the Japanese felt they’d like to see on the shinkansen and other express trains.

Demographics

Between the 25th and 28th of July 2008 1,072 members of the goo Research online monitor panel completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.3% of the sample were male, 5.7% in their teens, 14.4% in their twenties, 31,0% in their thirties, 28.1% in their forties, 10.5% in their fifties, and 10.4% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

The one thing I felt missing from express trains (not that I wanted to use it myself) is the opportunity to order special lunch boxes from stations you pass through. These eki-ben, as they are known, are rather popular for some reason I have never been able to understand.

With many of the answers it is not specified if people want the facilities to use or to avoid, although I suspect the latter for most of them!
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Japan’s busiest railway lines

In yesterday’s post I pondered out loud about whether or not the line I commute on is the busiest one in the Osaka area or not, so I decided to look for some statistics. With surprisingly little effort, I found the data for last year, 2007, for Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya areas.

The degree of crowding was averaged over one hour over all the trains passing through the segment between two stations, and I presume also averaged over the year. As a baseline, 100% is full, not just all seats taken, but also the straps and a few people around the doors. 150% is touching shoulders, but can still easily read a newspaper. 180% is bodies touching, but can just manage to read. 200% is just a bit too close, but you can still just manage a magazine or book. 250% is sardines.

So without further ado, here they are for the main lines around each of the cities:
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Over half annoyed by other people’s mobile use in trains

Does other people's in-train mobile use annoy you? graph of japanese statisticsWith one of the favourite ways to pass the time in trains being fiddling with one’s mobile phone, this recent survey reported on by japan.internet.com and conducted by JR Tokai Express Research Inc into mobile phone email lets us look at what people are doing with them on the train.

Demographics

On the 10th of May 2008 330 members of the JR Tokai Express Research monitor group employed in the private sector completed a closed online questionnaire. 75.5% of the sample was male, 11.5% in their twenties, 35.2% in their thirties, 38.8% in their forties, 11.5% in their fifties, and 2.4% in their sixties. Note that as JR Tokai Express draws some of its monitor base from promotion through JR Tokai Express trains, there may very well be a bias towards people who frequently use the bullet train, where it is acceptable to talk on one’s mobile in between the carriages.

As noted above, as there are probably a lot of business travelers, the 11% who talk on trains might include a certain percentage who only do it on the shinkansen or other long-distance trains where such behaviour is acceptable.

Also in Q2, One Seg television at 12% just beats music playing, but many more people use iPods instead for their in-train audio entertainment.

The extra information from Q2 saying that three in four were checking route information strengthens my assumption that there were a lot of business travelers in the survey.
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Finding your way around Japanese trains

Photo of Japanese train timetable sign

One key skill that most newcomers to Japan need to learn is how to navigate the train system. To find out how the locals find their way around, japan.internet.com reported on a survey conducted by goo Research into looking up train routes and connections.

Demographics

Between the 22nd and 25th of February 2008 1,095 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.0% were male, 16.2% were in their teens, 18.3% in their twenties, 21.3% in their thirties, 16.5% in their forties, 15.8% in their fifties, and 12.0% aged sixty or older.

As I’m quite familiar with the train routes around my local area, I usually look up my route on Yahoo! Transit to find the approximate journey time then commit the stations to change at to memory. One option I see missing from the list below, however, is taking a mobile phone photograph of a QR code that contains a web address representing the route. I thought that Yahoo! Transit supported such a feature, but it seems that’s their maps only.

Photo by tantek
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Loud chat, mobiles, and naughty children biggest train annoyances

Have you unpleasant memories of people's behaviour on trains? graph of japanese opinionAt the start of December last year, MyVoice surveyed its internet community on the subject of train manners. 13,586 people successfully completed an internet-based questionnaire. 54% of the sample was female, 3% in their teens, 21% in their twenties, 39% in their thirties, 24% in their forties, and 13% aged fifty or older.

Interestingly enough, the most common gripe I hear from other foreigners about the trains in Japan, that of people reading porno manga openly, irritates just 6.6% of the sample, and is seen as bad manners by barely three in ten, less than the number who consider putting on make up as a sign of poor breeding.

For me, snuffling without blowing one’s nose is the most boorish activity on trains, but that’s just my westernness showing! Not bothering to turn one’s phone to manner mode would come second, and it is mostly people who seem old enough to know better who do this, sadly.
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Missing the last train home

With most train lines stopping around 12 midnight and not resuming until 5 am, there is always the danger of getting one over the eight and missing the last train. So, with this in mind, goo Ranking published the results of a survey conducted towards the end of October into what people did if they had to wait for the first train home. As usual for goo Rankings, there is no demographic information, and scores are the percentages of the top ranking choice.

Note that getting a taxi home is usually an infeasible option as taxis are horrendously expensive once you get past a few kilometres. Also note that family resturants tend to have all-you-can-drink soft drink options, so it is easy to hole up all night nursing a bottomless cup of coffee. The times I’ve missed (sometimes on purpose!) the last train home I’ve ended up in a karaoke box or even walking home, even though it was a good ten kilometres or so!
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Desired segregation on Japanese public transport

Here’s a silly wee survey from goo Ranking on ___-only carriages on trains. The fieldwork was carried out over four days towards the end of October by means of a public poll, so no demographics are available. The scores in the survey represent the percentage of the top vote-getter that each option got.

Note that the Japanese term, ○○専門, maru-maru senmon, perhaps translates better as “specifically for whatever“, even though the most familiar form, 女性専門, josei senmon, is usually translated as “women only”. I’ll stick with “only” in the table, even though some may make more sense as “specifically for”.

I suspect that many of the votes were for enforcing segregation, such as for keeping the drunks or overly-perfumed (or even screaming kids…) away from the normal people. My vindictive vote would be for a bad breath-only car, but given the vapours in the average morning rush train, perhaps three-quarters of the carriages would need to be dedicated to those whose oral health was lacking.

In position number 7, strong heating or cooling, is perhaps in response to many lines having in summer a “cool” car, with the air conditioning set a couple of degrees higher. However, in my experience the default temperatures are far too strong, so I can only imagine that people are wanting a sauna or ice blocks!

I have previously translated a more serious look at women-only trains.
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Just one in fifty always use women-only carriages

Do you use the Ladies Only Carriage on trains? graph of japanese opinionAs part of DIMSDRIVE’s 89th Ranking Research they enquired into people’s views on women-only carriages in trains. They asked three questions to women and one to men.

Compared to other bad manners in and around trains, the women-only carriage regulations are surprisingly well-respected, at least on the lines I have frequented, with it being a relatively rare sight to see a man riding on them, even during the rush-hour peak, considering the number who ignore other regulations such as the no mobiles or no talking on the phone signs, or who smoke outside the designated areas.

Also please note that in Q1 the usage may seem to be low, but if one rides outside of peak rush hours, the trains tend to be not so overcrowded so the risk of getting groped is lower, so the figures here should not be taken simply at face value.

There is also a news report from the Mainichi Shimbun via Japan Probe about how groping is down overall in Tokyo, but up on lines with recently-introduced or expanded women-only carriage services.
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