On the evening of April 25 near Sukenobu Station in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, a male high school student was approached by an older man who said, “I will give you 1,000 yen if you sneeze.” The boy did, so the man handed the lad a 1,000-yen bill and tissue.
While on paper that might sound like an awesome deal, the creepiness factor most likely gets jacked way up when it happens in real life.
It’s unclear whether the student fulfilled his end of the bargain or simply gave back the money, but either way he was disturbed enough to go to the police afterward and file a report.
The man is described as in his 30s, and about 180 centimeters tall. He is also said to have a slim build, black hair, black suit, and a black shoulder bag. In other words, he looks more or less like every middle-aged Japanese man on the street, which may make finding him difficult.
Added to this is the issue of whether or not what the man was doing was a crime, as unsettling as it was. In order to pursue the investigation, Shizuoka Prefectural Police are citing Article 2 of the Police Act which allows it to act under the aim of “maintaining public safety and order.”
The authorities are currently asking around and checking security footage for more information on the sneeze-procurer. Until they know more they are advising all residents to be on alert and, “Never take him up on the offer. If you feel uncomfortable, please go to the nearest police box and file a report.”
The bizarre nature of this case only gets more bizarre when we learn that this isn’t the first such incident in Hamamatsu City. On Oct 20, 2016 a high school boy reported being approached by a man described as in his 20s. The man said to him, “Can you sneeze? I’m doing research on sneezing.”
In December of that same year, police were able to find the man and give him a warning not to ask people for sneezes again.
These incidents took place two years apart and in different parts of the city, but the truly unique nature of attempting to solicit sneezes would strongly suggest they’re connected. The police will no doubt be paying the 2016 individual a visit if they haven’t already.
Until then, we should all do well to heed the police’s advice and not take money from strangers in exchange for sneezes. We’ve covered these types of cases many times in the past, and we’d wager dollars to donuts that there is something downright nasty on that tissue he’s handing out.
Source: J-Cast News
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