Japan has a number of etiquette rules that might not be readily apparent to people from overseas, such removing your shoes before entering the locker room at the gym, or not wiping your face with the towel you’re given upon being seated in a restaurant.
Recently fashion model Nanao updated her blog with a post expounding the problem with another Japanese societal no-no: smoking while walking.
Many people get rather riled up when someone lights up a cigarette while walking down the road. There are two major reasons for this.
First and foremost, Japanese cities are crowded. Burning through one cigarette may not take that long, but even in that short time, the smoker is passing by dozens of people, hitting them with clouds of smoke and, if the passersby are particularly unlucky, flecks of ash that could singe their clothes or skin.
Secondly, in urban and suburban Japan, you walk to your destinations. Whether you’re headed to a restaurant for a fancy dinner, the grocery store for a carton of milk, or just home at the end of the day, for anything under a 15-minute walk away, you go by foot. So if you and the smoker in front of you are headed to the same train station so you can go to work in the morning, and he decides he needs his nicotine fix right there and then, you can look forward to passively sharing that entire cigarette with him.
Popular model Nanao has had enough of this, and recently aired her frustrations on her official blog.
“If I run into a guy who’s smoking while walking, I make sure to shoot him a cold glare,” says the native of Saitama Prefecture. “Do these jerks think they look cool or something? If you’re actually cool, you don’t need to do dumb things to draw attention to yourself,” she went on, decrying the implied “I make my own rules” mentality.
“Having to walk behind someone who’s smoking reeks and makes it hard to breathe, so I wish they’d just knock it off already. Haven’t they heard of secondhand smoke? Don’t they know it’s been shown to contain all sorts of harmful matter?”
The model’s fans took to Twitter to voice their agreement.
—“She’s right. I feel exactly the same way.”
—“Go on! Tell ‘em like it is!”
don’t want to tell people how to live their lives, but smoking and
walking is dangerous, because the lit cigarette is usually held right at
the level of a child’s face”
—“There’s no way to look at what they’re doing as anything other than rude.”
Nanao even went on to propose an effective countermeasure.
“If my boyfriend did something like this, I’d slap him three times across the face,” she declared. “And for good measure, after that I’d hit him with a dekopin, too!”
Dekopin refers to flicking the tip of your finger into someone’s forehead. It’s usually done to chide someone who’s acting dumb or childish, and while it does sting pretty badly, it seems several rungs lower on the pain ladder than the slaps Nanao was initially suggesting.
That said, we have to remember that Nanao is a fashion model, so violence isn’t exactly her forte. Still, we’re glad to see her speak out against smoking while walking, since in Japan, one of the most tried-and-true methods for affecting social change is to have a pretty girl promote your platform.
Source: Nanao Official Blog
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