-･- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -･- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.
I found my name on this blackboard at the nearest subway station to my working place the other day.
The message read: “Dear *****, It's very hot today!”
“*****” was my family name that is not really common….
The board called Dengon-ban (伝言板) is not a communication board, but it’s to leave a message for a person whom you are meeting.
Well, I think some of you may need further explanation about the situation.
In general, a station is a popular meeting spot in the Japanese larger cities that have extensive train and subway networks. In 2010, if you are meeting a person who's late at a station, you can call him or her on the mobile phone and find out how long you have to wait. Then, what would you do if you were in the same situation in 1990? You called the home of the person from a pay phone, but nobody answered. How long could you wait?
That’s when the message board really comes into play: you can chalk a message on the board in vertical line -“7:30 p.m. I go on ahead. By Kinakinw."
Before the spread of cell-phones in the mid-1990’s, it was a useful free service for passengers (though I’ve never used it). Now, few people use the boards for proper purposes, so they were taken away from most train stations. However, many subway stations still keep them.
Last year, I waited for a person for almost an hour at a train station in Yokohama. He had a mobile phone, but it was turned off. I thought there must be the reason why he was late without prior announcement, so I run into an Internet café to check e-mail when 40 minutes had past.
In the end, the word came that he arrived at the station before I opened my e-mail folder.
Why didn't he call me when his last appointment ran over?
I found out that he didn’t behave with arrogance though he was my superior. His ‘concept of rendezvous’ was that of before the days of mobile phones.
I deeply understood why someone said he was quite a character.
I decided that I would meet him in front of the Dengon-ban next time.