In Japan, children crossing a busy street on the way to school may be greeted by a friend who stands waiting to hand over yellow safety flags. Actually, the friends are inanimate and made of fiberglass, but nonetheless worthy of our praise. The pair of schoolboy safety flag holders pictured here were photographed at a heavy-traffic intersection in Shirakawago, Gifu prefecture. Wearing a bright yellow coat and boots, along with a bright red hat (once again for safety) and sporting a school bag slung on the back, these statues resemble the actual look of many first grade elementary school students in Japan, who dress (particularly the first year) to be seen by motorists. Before crossing the street to go to school, children take a flag and then proceed across the street holding it high. Having crossed the street they would place the flag in the statue standing on the other side. Then the school children would perform the same action on there way home. Leaving the flag on the side closer to their home ready to be used the next day when crossing the street again. On the top of the statues’ heads is a slot where I presume the flags had once been. Weathered by years of service the statue on the right missing one hand is literally on its leg, having had been broken off from the base and now resting against the traffic light. Gokurosan.