歩きスマホ (aruki-sumaho or, literally, “smartphone walking”) refers to a pedestrian who uses a mobile phone while walking. On Feb. 28, the Tokyo Fire and Disaster Management Agency said that 36 individuals were hospitalized in 2013 due to injuries they sustained while using their mobile device and walking, an increase of 56 percent from 2010. The practice has become so endemic among commuters in Tokyo that some railway companies have even discussed banning people from using mobile phones on train platforms, a move that is unlikely to get a lot of traction.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.