Artifact | Sign

Japan is a place governed by many rules, both explicit and implicit. In a land where bureaucracy is an art form, there are processes—often convoluted—to be followed when doing things and deviation from the rules is practically heretical, whether putting out the trash, starting a career upon graduation or attending a *goukon* date party. To a foreigner—this foreigner at least—society here seems one in which governing bodies have an overly paternalistic attitude to the citizenry and the result is often over-precaution and information overkill, whether it be the plethora of signs and announcements at train stations, or the positioning of redundant guards in front of places such as car parks, roadworks or building sites, or the strictness of rules in apartment buildings.