Public places in the crowded streets of Shinjuku in Tokyo are usually filled with movement, talking and the sounds emanating from shops. Whilst walking through West Shinjuku, I was minding my business walking to my destination. I stopped when I saw a sea of people standing outside Yodabashi camera. There...>>
In the picture below, we find some examples of "sound management" on the shinkansen: this picture depicts the information given to all passengers when they sit down in their seats. In front of them they will immediately see the rules and regulations of riding the shinkansen. Although the image is not very clear, the middle instruction states: Please switch your phone to silent mode. Interestingly, the Japanese term for "silent mode" on a phone is literally "manner mode," indexing the importance of sonic maintenance to good mannerly conduct.
The recording was played just before our train pulled into Kyoto Station, our destination. A transcript follows. Note that the pre-recorded voices are followed by a live voice who provides supplementary information. In the background of this recording, one can hear the muffled hum of the train as it speeds over the tracks. At the very end, after a burst in speed, you can hear the grating of the wheels of the train on the tracks as the break is applied and the train pulls to a stop at Kyoto Station.
"Mamonaku, Kyoto desu. Toukaidou-sen, San’in-sen, Kosei-sen, Nara-sen to Kintetsu-sen ga o-norikae desu. Kyou mo Shinkansen o go-riyou kudasaimashite, arigatou gozaimashita. Kyouto demasu to, tsugi wa Shin-Osaka ni tomarimasu.
Ladies and gentlemen, we will soon make a brief stop at Kyoto. Passengers going to the Toukaidou, San’in, Kosei, Nara and Kintetsu lines , please change trains here at Kyoto. Thank you."
Recordings and photo: Carolyn Stevens