PSA: What If 17th Century Samurai Had Smartphones?


We’ve all been told of the perils of walking while texting. And yet we do it anyway. In fact, the problem only seems to worsen. But what if edo-period samurai had smartphones? Well, a humorous public service announcement imagines what would happen if a group of samurai making their pilgrimage to the Edo capital on foot were glued to their screens.

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Samurai Smartphone Parade” was created by mobile carrier NTT Docomo in an attempt to warn their users of the dangers of walking while texting, a phrase known in Japan as arukisumaho (literally, “smartphone walking”). The video, released yesterday, depicts the very real tradition of sankin kotai: a strategy employed by the Tokugawa Shogunate to keep local lords from amassing too much wealth and power by mandating exhaustive group-pilgrimages to the capital.

In the video, the samurai can be seen bumping into each other, falling into rivers and getting assassinated. Yes, even for Samurai walking while texting would have been very dangerous.

1 Comment

  1. Here’s the real-life American version

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