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Flower Train

Flower Train

A mini-documentary about sexual assault on the Tokyo subway.


(If you have trouble viewing video in our lightbox player, please go directly to the video here.)

Directed by Ian Lynam
Research by Ariki Rie
Featuring Ito Aki
Music by Copy (courtesy of Audio Dregs)

February 4, 2008

Ian Lynam is a graphic designer living in Tokyo and the art director of Neojaponisme. His website is located at His new book, Parallel Strokes, on the intersection of graffiti and typography is available now.

5 Responses

  1. statiq Says:

    Really refreshing to see some video content on neojaponisme.

    I hate to be the one complaining but firefox choked pretty badly on the embedded player.

    How about also including the link to the vimeo page ?

  2. W. David MARX Says:

    Including a link makes sense.

  3. napa Says:

    “Nearly 64 percent of Japanese woman in their 20s or 30s say they have been groped on trains”

    And which percentage say they have been filmed without their consent ?

  4. jasong Says:

    Aren’t those decorated floats that run on tracks known as “hanadensha”?

    It’s also apparently slang for strip shows where the female genetalia performs tricks. Good example in Miike’s “Fudoh: The New Generation.”

    And did groping really play no role in the 1920s initiative, only wanton stares??

  5. Ian LYNAM Says:

    I’d say 64% were filmed without consent, as well.
    History books state that groping wasn’t the problem back in the day: unfortunately, I’m on vacation in Sapporo and can’t give the reference easily.
    It may seem strange for such a light treatment of the issue to appear on Néojaponisme, as posts are usually a bit less surface. There are 2 reasons for the appearance of this webfilm:
    1. The film was originally requested by GOOD Magazine, and it was they who funded the project. However, in between initial and final film production, a significant editorial tide shift occurred at that publication. All of GOOD’s webfilm projects are now supposed to have a hero or heroine, and there is none in sight for the groping problem on Tokyo’s trains. Essentially, the film was paid for and completed- it just needed a home. And what better place than here?
    2. So far, Néojaponisme content is very male-centric in terms of contributors and commentors. My hope is that we can encourage more women to write for the journal. While women have been well-represented as interview subjects (Sumie Kawakami, Patricia Steinhoff), the only formal female contributions have been from illustrators. Sadly, the scales are tipped in the male direction rather resoundingly at present. My hope is that will change.
    And on a final note, the work of 3 women, Rie Ariki, Selena Hoy, and Aki Ito, was essential to the making of this film. Unfortunately, almost everything they shot, were shot doing, and the research they had done was edited out to make the film as tight as possible. Perhaps too tightly so. My apologies to the three of them, and I thank them heartily for their time.
    “Flower Train” is not associated with GOOD Magazine in any way, however, I thank the staff there for financing this project. Hit up their website for some awesome little web documentaries- in particular “Bikes to Rwanda” and “Al Jazeera English”.