This guy's fighting for the future of Kawagoe's kids (未来は子どもたちのために)
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Fighting For You!

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a good Japanese mystery to investigate. A couple weeks ago, workers began installing long white boards all over town with squares numbered 1-50. A large date—April 26—appeared at one end with a whole lot of indecipherable Japanese surrounding it.

The election poster board, called kouei keji ba (公営掲示場) or public posting area

The election poster board, called kouei keji ba (公営掲示場) or public posting area

A few days later, nearly all of the boxes were plastered with election posters from all of Japan’s major political parties. It’s time to elect our local mayors (kuchō/区長) and assembly representatives (kugikai/区議会)! I say “our,” but as foreign citizens, we don’t get a vote. At least we have plausible deniability if it all goes south… “Not my kuchō!”

In addition to the posters, candidates ride around in vans with loudspeakers, sharing their message with the people. They wear white gloves as they wave out the window, apparently a symbol of honesty.

The posters themselves were pretty standard fare, although I did notice a couple of trends. First off, several candidates seemed to be taking the theme of “fighting for you” literally. I counted six posters with candidates raising clinched fists, ready to punch the opposition right in the face. Some of my favorites…


This guy will not only fight for us, but might also organize a pickup basketball game!

This guy will not only fight for us, but might also organize a pickup basketball game!


Do yourself a favor and check out the next guy’s website. He has comic-style posters of him fighting for the people of Kawagoe. Kinda cool.

Manabu-san looks way too happy for someone who has spent 25 years working in Kawagoe City Hall (25年間川越市役所勤務の経験を市政に生かします!).

Manabu-san looks way too happy for someone who has spent 25 years working in Kawagoe City Hall (25年間川越市役所勤務の経験を市政に生かします!).


Misao-san took a slightly different route with the

Misao-san took a slightly different route with the “Who has one finger and wants your vote? This guy!” theme


Odaka-san has a bit of a "Um, I'll fight for you?" look about him, but as a local fire chief, and PTA president, he's got the goods.

Odaka-san has a bit of a “Um, I’ll fight for you?” look about him, but as a local fire chief, and PTA president, he’s got the goods.


The other prominent theme is the use of cartoonish representations of the candidates. It says “Look, I’m fun!” Some of the best…

Maki-san is bring

Maki-san is bring “a new wind to Kawagoe” (川越市政に「新しい風」を)


Tetsuya-san is a 53-year-old working in

Tetsuya-san is a “53-year-old working in full bloom” (働きざかりの53歳)


Kirino-san has doubled-down with the fist-pumping cartoon

Kirino-san has doubled-down with the fist-pumping cartoon


I'd say this is actually a fairly good likeness of Yamaki-san

I’d say this is actually a fairly good likeness of Yamaki-san


Mizuyo-san loves Kawagoe and apparently loves to bicycle as well

Mizuyo-san loves Kawagoe and apparently loves to bicycle as well


Sekiguchi-san looks a lot happier in his caricature than in his actual picture

Sekiguchi-san looks a lot happier in his caricature than in his actual picture


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