The signs for foreign tourists created by Iwate Prefecture in Iwate have been introduced by overseas media such as BBC.
According to Iwate Prefecture, the signs are designed and created by Ryusuke Murao and others from Hope Township Iwase Culture Ambassador to be used at tourist facilities by foreigners.
All of 26 signs can be useful at hot springs and restaurants. They are released on the dedicated website “Iwate No Jutte (ten ways to make travelers make happy)” and anybody can download them for free.
In the signs, men wearing their hair in a chonmage are seen demonstrating appropriate manners for various scenes such as hot springs and during meals.
For example, for hot springs, men and women wearing floating rings in a bathing suit are drawn, accompanied by the statement, “No bathing suits and sandals.”
For restaurants, the size of the fire blowing from the mouth by a man expresses the degree of hotness. There are explanations for mild, spicy, medium, and super spicy.
To notify people who cannot eat pork, they created a comical design with a pig on a plate or inside of a bowl.
Japan’s English newspaper, Japan Times, reported on this interesting effort by Iwate Prefecture, which sparked the interest of overseas medias such as BBC.
BBC reported the content from The Japan Times, and expressed that the signs were “strange.”
Since the number of foreign tourists has increased, other efforts to solve the problems in the linguistic system are being developed.
Similarly, the American media information site Mashable introduced the efforts of Iwate Prefecture as “painfully obvious.”