Japanese train line gives official apology for being 20 seconds off schedule


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/16/japanese-train-line-gives-offi.html


We can savely assume the people responsible have taken their own lives to alleviate the shame somewhat, but it will be several years before personnel will be able to face their customers without a tinge of disgrace clinging to the encounter. Today is truly a dark day to be a TX employee.


The Japanese are really good at apologizing for minor slights. It’s the big stuff, like war crimes, they are a little slower on.


Apology accepted.


Something must have been lost in translation here


it’s a cascade reaction.

The train is late, inconveniencing the riders,
The riders are late, inconveniencing their employers, and so on, down the tracks.


Don’t exaggerate. That only happens after 20 minutes delays.


That’s only because they knew that if they complained, there would have been a slight delay at the next stop from the engineer committing seppuku.


War crimes. Minor slight apologies. The “Overkill Syndrome”.


My Japanese teacher once told me about the trains in Osaka where she grew up. It was so irregular for trains to be late that people knew it was a lie if you tried to use it as an excuse for your own lateness.

As such, she told me, if the trains were late they had attendants handing out slips for people to show their employers.

I think she would have grown up there in the 90s though. She talked about trains being 2-5 minutes late. A 20 second lateness apology seems like mathematical ruthlessness.


My understanding is that seppuku is a ritual (not the actual act of self-disembowelment). Wouldn’t it be “… from the engineer having performed seppuku”?

Full disclosure: Yes. I’m a nut for samurai films.


They aren’t mutually exclusive - it’s just ritual suicide (with the rituals becoming more formalized in samurai time). The kanji (切腹) don’t describe anything more than cut + abdomen.

Regardless, the ensuing seppuku would have likely caused a delay further angering passengers.


Band name up for grabs.


They borrowed the template from United Airlines.


Even more ruthless - this was a train departing 20 seconds early


Could’ve been worse:

‘No Mongo! Never kill a customer!’


Could you point me at some examples of the US apologising for their war crimes? There are plenty to choose from.


And today on the San Diego MTS Red Line trolley, I saw a (roughly 18-20 year old) kid verbally assault an elderly woman (sitting in the disability seats) and two other people before getting chewed out by a wonder woman (not the Wonder Woman) who almost gave him an ass-whipping right then and there.
Of course this is nothing on Chicago. We’re like wild apes over here, I tell ya.


This again?

The thing is “war crime” has a specific meaning. At least with @Mister44’s eronius comment the specific meaning was correct.


I hope they didn’t pass it through Google Translate; it’s terrible on Japanese to English translations. Though if they did, we were lucky to get the right pronouns in more-or-less the right places.