Riding every day on the Tokyo railways brings me to a disturbing realization:
Everywhere I looked, people were on cell phones. Not talking, of course... That is rude and highly discouraged in public trains. No, they were furiously texting or playing a game, listening to music, or browsing the web- looking almost oblivious to the world around them.
Quite often, the normal rider will slip into the train, purposely looking down and to the side to avoid all eye contact and acknowledgement - find an empty seat, and whip out their entertainment or communication device of choice, transporting themselves to a seeming dimension of obfuscation.
In Japan, a common saying is "The nail that sticks out gets hammered down." Standing out, or being loud, or being too unique seems to draw a stigmatic attention. So rather than be outward, many have become technologically introverted.
What an interesting new society of satellite socialism.
This is the state of Japan.
* Explored May 2nd, 2009. Yay! *