Culture

Japanese Asking Roller Coaster Riders to 'Scream Inside Your Heart'

Unwittingly, a Japanese amusement park company has given us the tag line for 2020: “Scream inside your heart.”

The advice is being given to customers visiting the Fuji-Q Highland theme park and riding the two-kilometer-long Fujiyama rollercoaster. Apparently, even wearing a mask can’t protect your fellow riders if you inadvertently let out a hearty scream while careening around the track. So the company is advising riders not to scream out loud but rather to do it “inside your heart.”

Naturally, Twitter exploded.

Altering human behavior, unfortunately, isn’t quite that simple. This is especially true when trying to suppress instincts. The rollercoaster “reaches speeds of 130km/h and drops 70 metres at one point.” It was the fastest, tallest rollercoaster in the world when it opened in 1996.

So it’s very difficult to suppress the instinct to let out a good scream. Except that two executives of the company are shown in a video riding the rollercoaster completely stone-faced.

Fuji-Q then launched a #Mao (serious face) campaign through which riders who post a video of their silent, masked and serious faces while riding Fujiyama on social media will be entered in a draw to win free tickets to the park.

A spokesperson for Fuji Q told the Guardian the response to the campaign had been encouraging but that some customers were still not happy about the guidelines.

Japan’s soccer league has also opened and has given us a preview of what sports fans in the U.S. might expect in the coming months.

The J League has issued 70 pages of guidelines on anti-virus measures, covering players, staff and fans. Forbidden behaviour for fans includes chants, claps and flag-waving.

“If people do break the rules, we’re supposed to reprimand them, so we’re still considering exactly how to respond,” said Satoshi Kuroda, a spokesperson for Shimizu S-Pulse, a top-tier club that plays its home games at the Ecopa Stadium about 230km south-west of Tokyo.

Does it really take 70 pages to tell us to be safe? Why bother to go to a game if you can’t cheer? Better to stay completely safe and watch the game from your comfy chair. And you don’t have to pay eight bucks for watered-down beer and a cold hot dog either.

Kuroda said: “Fans can bring big flags and banners in to display, but aren’t allowed to wave them around; that’s going to be tricky as if people get excited they may want to do so. We understand their feelings, but the rules will be explained when they get permission to bring them in.”

The club was reluctant to eject fans, Kuroda said, “but if the rules keep getting broken then it’s possible the league will stop letting fans in again”.

Remember: Scream inside your heart.

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