In Japan, “kawaii,” or cute, is the design principle that seems to reign supreme.  Every store and restaurant has a cute “mascot” associated with it – even many churches, temples, and shrines have them, too. Even public service-style signs are graphic and often adorable.

Here are a few examples:

Directions for properly purifying yourself before approaching a shrine: wash your left hand, then your right, then rinse your mouth
Fire hydrant cover in the street
No smoking!
They are serious about not smoking...
...But they're really, really serious about not throwing your cigarette butt on the ground if you do smoke!
This one seems pretty explicit. But note it is only written in English - I wonder if they're targeting a particular non-poop-scooping population? Or maybe Americans need extra help interpreting the sign?
Things you may not do at a local park. Again, pretty specific. (I would love to know what's been covered up - did they decide that activity is now acceptable?)



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