31 January, 2018

Creative problem solving in Japan

This is not an uncommon sight in Japanese train stations. The maintenance "fix" on a leak is a plastic sheet taped strategically to keep the drips on the wall, not dripping on customers. 
It always strikes me as a little incongruous, with the amazing efficiency that we enjoy with Tokyo trains. However it is still very Japanese: practical and resourcefully fixing something in a budget-conscious way that prioritises the comfort of the customers.

This type of "fixing" is not unusual in this society. It is very common to see bikes with DIY fixes, like tape covering a hole in the seat, or a crate strapped to the back of a bike for carrying groceries. Nor is it unusual to see something like a Tokyo resident clearing snow with their dust pans or breaking up dirty ice on the road with a chisel—making do with what they have.

Everything perfect and beautiful is one of those images that Japan has portrayed to the world that isn't true for the majority of "real Japan". This is a photo of real Japan, and while it isn't so pretty, it is creative problem solving that I love.

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