Vietato Toccare Part Three


There’s a shop selling Nikon equipment on the main street of the Ginza in Tokyo that has entire windows of secondhand lenses for sale with price tags. It also has signs peppered throughout scolding the passersby not to take pictures of the window display – chiding them for having bad manners. I am not sure if taking pictures of shop windows is illegal or offensive in Japanese culture, or if it is just the personal grudge of the owner. In any case, at least he did put the sign out in English and I refrained from taking any. I also refrained from buying anything – I hadn’t that much courage. I ducked round the corner under the railway bridge to Bic Cameras and bought my stuff – they had lots of signs but none of them were in English and none of them seemed to be angry.

Perhaps we need to think of signs for our car shows – if we have the problem of people who do not know the basic rule of not touching the cars we can let them know on the spot, and…

Oh. Wait. We do have signs. Many of the cars have placards asking us to admire but not touch. They can be home-made or provided by clubs or insurance companies.

Or we could announce it on the loudspeaker that the paint jobs and chrome work are expensive and that owners have put hours of work into preparation for the show, and…

Oh. Wait. They do announce it. About every fifteen minutes. Jolly and kindly and all, but they do make it loud and clear – no touching the exhibits.

The best way might be to make up a series of signs in appropriate languages and post them near the cars. With suitable graphics that would attract the attention of the visitors. The hot rodders and vintage car people would probably not understand, but then they are not the target audience…

I’ve collected these so far from the internet and I’ll see if they can be printed cheaply:




I won’t have any printed in Japanese. There is no need – the Japanese visitors respect the cars and the exhibitors. Here is a young man doing the right thing, the right way, in Melbourne. I hope his images were rewarding.




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