HIROSHIMA -- "Coronavirus, you stupid jerk!!"
This message from the Hiroshima Prefectural Tourism Federation appeared on Dec. 21 on gigantic signs posted at a total of six train stations in the Tokyo metropolitan area, including JR Tokyo and Yokohama stations. The posters include a passage, "The place you can return to will never go away."
The posters have been put up in response to the prefectural government's request for Hiroshima natives to refrain from returning to the city of Hiroshima, where the number of coronavieus cases is spiking, during the New Year holidays. Comments from Hiroshimans who are missing their hometowns are apparently pouring in, saying that they were moved by the signs.
The tourism federation had originally prepared posters calling for people from Hiroshima to come home for the New Year holidays but it hurriedly replaced them after the prefectural government on Dec. 12 requested people to refrain from returning to their hometowns in the prefecture during the period.
The signs, written all in the Hiroshima dialect, conclude with "So, let's stay strong and do our best together. We're looking forward to seeing you again." The organization said it received a phone call on Dec. 21 from a man living in Tokyo, saying, "I cried when I saw the poster. I'm glad I was born in Hiroshima Prefecture."
(Japanese original by Naomi Yamamoto, Hiroshima Bureau)