A video showing an elderly Japanese man actively blocking this Nagoya subway door from closing is one of the most viral videos in Japan at the moment.
Trains delayed by over a minute caused by a somewhat unruly passenger is, to be honest, an uncommon occurrence in everyday Japan. So when this video dropped on Twitter earlier yesterday (Apr. 7, 2019) showing an elderly Japanese gentleman sticking his shopping bag into the doorway of a Higashiyama Line train on the Nagoya Subway multiple times, it not only went viral, it drew the ire of presumably thousands of Japanese netizens.
Check out the video that, as of this writing, has already racked up 33 million views below.
— 燃えるゴミbot (@MOERUGOMIbot) April 7, 2019
In the span of 66 seconds, the subway door of this Higashiyama subway line train closes nine times, and who knows how many times it was opening and closing before this Japanese Twitter user decided it’s about time to whip out his smartphone.
There’s so much to unpack here. First of all, this elderly fellow. From the beginning, he knows exactly what he’s doing by throwing his white plastic bag across the front door. He’s fully aware that by doing this, the train can’t leave.
From the handful of articles I’ve come across like this one from Apple Daily or Gogotsu, no one really gives a why. Maybe he’s waiting for a friend who’s late to ride along with him. That would certainly be a plausible and pleasant reason.
The other reason, which is sadly what I think is happening in this situation, is the man just wants some attention. It’s a messed up way to get it but for a brief minute, he’s the center of attention, however negative it is. In a society that values conformity for the greater good, getting your own spotlight doesn’t happen like it does here in America. Since he’s an older guy, he gives zero f—s.
Then, there’s the action of the bystanders. A non-confrontational approach and letting authorities deal with the situation is probably why people didn’t stop this poor dude from keeping up with his shenanigans. It’s almost much the same here in the United States, really. It’s only after the eighth door closing that some brave soul grabs him out of the door’s way and after the ninth time that the presence of a subway authority gets the best of the elderly man and he backs off.
Japanese Netizens where sure to air out their greivances on Twitter. The original caption reads, “Does he not think of other people’s troubles?”
And here is a selection of the most liked responses below.
“Old harm grandfather certainly not only watch the guy that is glued to the screen of the smartphone in the surroundings but also take care of it, but everyone thinks only of himself after all. Translation: You say he only thinks of himself but people on their smartphones are kind of doing the same thing.”
“The brother in the back who tried to stop even once is brave!”
“I pray for this person to find a good facility. Translation: This man needs some mental health.”
What do you think about this man delaying hundreds of commuters with his bag? And in Japan, no less. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.