Top Japan Monthly Laughs of 2008

Woman secretlylives in man's closet in JapanJanuary
A letter a Kawasaki schoolgirl sent aloft by balloon in 1993 was found fastened to a fish by a fisherman off Choshi port,150 kilometers away from where the balloon was launched.

A 39-year-old man wearing a high school girl’s uniform and a long wig loitered near a Saitama high school and was arrested for trespassing and avoiding police by trying to blend into a group of teenagers on school grounds.

Cartoon robo-cat Doraemon named Japan’s "anime ambassador".

A city council employee in Kinokawa, Japan makes 780,000 hits on porn websites in nine months, on his office computer.

Homeless woman lived in man’s closet for year. Disappearing food leads to discovery in home of man who thought he lived alone.

Investigation finds "pub cabs" popular as hundreds of government bureaucrats routinely receive free beer, snacks and sometimes cash from taxi drivers competing for late-night business from public servants.

Dummy clown mascot "Kuidaore Taro" makes final appearance as 59-year-old Osaka restaurant goes out of business.

Wild macaque monkey causes chaos during morning rush hour at Tokyo’s Shibuya station.



(1) The Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare plans to set up counters in all prefectures and large cities to offer counseling to "hikikomori" – people who suffer from a kind of agoraphobia and who further isolate themselves from society.

Hikinomori agoraphobia counseling counter in Japan (2) Fifteen officers all fail to realize "corpse" wrapped in plastic found in forest was actually a life-sized sex doll.

(3) Two employees of Japanese confectionery company open can of red-bean paste, notice paste has strange odor, decide to eat some to check the quality, then suffer numbness in limbs, and are rushed to hospital.

(1) British tourist swims naked in the moat of Imperial Palace then leads cops on foot chase around palace grounds.

(2) A camera-police-hotline-alarm-equipped Coca-Cola vending machine is installed in a park in Toyohashi, Japan, and is vandalized three days later.
British tourist swims nude in Japan Imperial Palace moat. Security Coca Cola Coke vending machine has camera, alarm, light in Japan


Man releases hundreds of beetle larvae inside moving express train "to see women get scared and shake their legs.”
Artist's conception of beetle larvae on a train in Japan.December
Japan police cancel plan to fine drivers aged 75 or older who fail to display a maple-leaf-shaped sticker that indicates to other drivers that they are elderly. Some elderly have said the sticker resembles a dead leaf, and police will also consider redesign of the sticker.

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