Railway robber

A man was arrested in Kobe earlier this week after being caught stealing 2 pairs of trousers from a railway office. However 39-year-old Kenji Hishida wasn’t exactly what you’d call desperately in need of any leg wear, especially not of the railway uniform variety.

Mr. Hishida it turns out is obsessed with trains and planes, and an integral part of his hobby it would seem is stealing uniforms. After his arrest, the trouser thief admitted to stealing clothing from railway and airline companies over a 15-year period. Claiming that by wearing the stolen uniforms he could enter railway facilities, where he was “able to get a close look at trains from close range.”

Perhaps not surprisingly Hishida-san is unemployed, as after what the police found at his home it is obvious that he had no time for something so distracting as work. In his (presumably quite large) apartment, a staggering 10,000 uniforms were recovered. Prompting one surprised officer to claim that it was a haul “even a 2 ton truck could not carry.”


A disgruntled looking Hishida-san on his way to court yesterday. Perhaps.

Sibling saga

Keisuke Yumiba, a man who chose to live out of his car for the last 12 months, was arrested over the weekend. Whilst using his car as a home isn’t crime, it could be construed as suspicious when for the same period of time his brother’s rotting corpse had been left in the apartment they used to share.

Local residents in the housing estate in Kanagawa Prefecture had complained of a vile smell, and the resultant investigation uncovered 29-year-old Kenichi Yumiba’s corpse.

The body showed no sign of external injury, but the police have yet to disclose if the autopsy revealed the cause of the elder brother’s death.

Most unpleasant.

Mathematical musings

During a debate in 1860 between the Anglican Archbishop of Oxford University, Samuel Wilberforce, and evolutionist and agnostic Thomas Huxley, the latter asserted that given sufficient time, all the possible combinations of matter (including those necessary to produce a man), would eventually occur by random chance.

This exchange prompted Huxley to famously ask Wilberforce for the services of 6 monkeys that would live forever, and 6 typewriters that would never wear out. Arguing that given an infinite amount of time, the monkeys would eventually type the complete works of Shakespeare. Rumour also has it that Wilberforce, a skilled mathematician, was forced to concede the truth of Huxley’s point and lose the debate as a result.

Now as Monkeys are somewhat unpredictable, and typewriters are quickly becoming a thing of the past, I’d like to give Huxley’s theory a more modern touch. So I declare that given an infinite number of Japanese people, and an infinite number of badly worded t-shirts, the complete works of J.K. Rowling would eventually be produced.

Up to now I’m a bit far away from the infinite mark, but here are 3 for starters.


Arnold’s adverts

Arnold Schwarzenegger will visit Japan in November, his first sojourn as Governor of California. The, ahem, actor turned politician plans to meet Japanese political and business leaders, in an attempt to strengthen business ties between Japan and his state.

But official work aside, I wonder if he’ll find the time to make anymore TV commercials whilst he’s here?


Click on the picture above to see one of the Governor’s more accomplished performances. And for more Schwarzenegger (and other celebrity) commercials, go to the wonderful Japander.com

Karaoke king?

I must confess that karaoke is not my favourite way of spending an evening. And the few unfortunate souls who have found themselves sat alongside me in a karaoke booth can well understand my aversion to this popular pastime.

But perhaps help is at hand. Vodafone has released a mobile phone that allows you to download karaoke songs, and then project them on to a TV. Allowing woeful warblers like myself the chance to get a bit of private practice in before making another ill-advised public outing. And no need to worry about not having a microphone either, as the handset doubles up as a one.


Plus, when you are belting out your favourite number, you can always check the lyrics on the phone’s Japanese-English dictionary. Whilst simultaneously taking pictures of your performance with the device’s 1.3-mexapixel camera.