July 17th, 2016



All road signs are instructions of one sort or another.

For example, if you want to go to New York, you need to take the third exit off the roundabout ahead.

While a triangle with a red border indicates a warning and the instruction is, watch out and be prepared for...

I like this one, because I live in a city. Well, on the outskirts of a city.
I guess that's why the road planners put up this warning; there would be no need out in the countryside, where such slow traffic is expected.


When you can't read a language, pictures become essential. Here are a couple of signs I came across in Japan (where the signage in general is AWESOME - and where I am also functionally illiterate :-). The one thing that's helpful to know is that you read top-to-bottom, then right-to-left. So instruction #1 is on the far right, instruction #2 is to its left, and so forth.

Both signs are found at Shinto shrines. The first sign explains how to purify yourself (in preparation for praying and performing any other tasks you have to do there). You rinse one hand, then the other, then the mouth:

how to purify yourself with a ladleful of water at a Shinto shrine

Another shrine is well known for its "healing stone". Here it is:
healing stone

This diagram explains how to obtain the benefit of the stone. No problem if you can't read Japanese, all the basics are there! Just pray for a few moments; rub the stone with your hands; then touch your hands to the afflicted part of your body.

applying healing-stone vibes to your body