Monday, October 22, 2007

Japan is weird part 2304

It has always been suspected that the Japanese are, by human standards, highly unusual.

These suspicions have only been confirmed by the sudden ubiquity of video-sharing websites: Now we are all just a click away from witnessing the latest Japanese insanity concerning things such as competitive farting and air sex.

But has this all left us gullible to falling for exaggerations and misinterpretations of Japan's national bizarreness? I can't help thinking that might be the case when I read this article in The New York Times about Japan's new trend in wearable hiding places.

Here is an excerpt:

Ms. Tsukioka, a 29-year-old experimental fashion designer, lifted a flap on her skirt to reveal a large sheet of cloth printed in bright red with a soft drink logo partly visible. By holding the sheet open and stepping to the side of the road, she showed how a woman walking alone could elude pursuers — by disguising herself as a vending machine.

As if. The simple laws of physics prevent any item of woman's clothing from quickly morphing into a credible looking vending machine. The only chance such a disguise could possibly have of being successful is if the pursuant had poor vision, and the pursued found herself chased into an area containing vending machines that, for some reason, look like sheets painted to look like a vending machine. Given there is barely any street crime in Japan to begin with, this isn't a likely enough scenario for the article to make any sense.

Which is not to say I think the story was completely cooked up. I'm sure wearable hiding places are gaining popularity in Japan. Just not for personal safety. More likely there is a new craze in Japan in which people dress up like vending machines and simulate sex with each other. Or something else which would crack us up in a short Youtube clip, and allow us to ruminate upon how darn strange the Japanese are.

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