Japan Today
Image: Twitter/@toushikakeichan

Pachinko parlor has weird way of combating COVID-19 that does nothing about swarms of customers

By Dale Roll, SoraNews24

As threats of novel coronavirus become more alarming in Tokyo and other large cities in Japan, local governments have laid out recommendations for businesses and individuals to practice jishuku or “self-restraint from going out/doing business”. While some have really taken those recommendations to heart and have been staying home (in the case of the public) and closing their doors (in the case of businesses), some of both categories are taking those as loose recommendations and not requirements.

Take, for example pachinko parlor Rakuen, who’s decided to follow city guidelines by turning off some lights and sign boards, while doing nothing about the large crowds that seem to be swarming to their parlors.

In the above photo tweeted by Twitter user Toushikakeichan (@toushikakeichan), the pachinko parlor posted a sign outside the entrance that reads:

“In order to prevent a widespread outbreak of novel coronavirus, we will be practicing business jishuku.

We have received word from various city mayors of prevention policies that we should follow, and therefore, for the time being, we will be shutting off a portion of our exterior lighting and electric sign boards.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused but we thank you for your understanding.


So in short, Rakuen has decided that in order to help combat the spread of an infectious disease, they will be turning off some lights. As Toushikakeichan so aptly wrote: “I…I’ve never seen this kind of ‘jishuku.’"

▼ “Jishuku” recommendations in Japan include avoiding the “three c’s”: closed-in spaces, large crowds, and close-conversation settings.

Screen Shot 2020-04-02 at 8.50.14.png

To be fair, the pachinko parlor is indeed following recommendations by the All Japan Leisure Businesses Cooperation Association, which has called numerous times for pachinko parlors, in particular, to practice jishuku in their advertising. Presumably the idea is that, without advertising, customers will be less likely to think of going to pachinko, so Rakuen likely thought that turning off the signboards for the parlors counts as toning down their advertising. In reality it seems more like a, “look, we’re following your recommendations!” rather than an actual concentrated effort to help prevent the spread of the disease, and the fact that they put a sign out apologizing to their customers about it doesn’t do much to counter the irony of their seemingly weak attempt.

In the end, they’re still going to be open, and the people who regularly play pachinko are going to play whether the parlors have their lights on outside or not. Besides, lately pachinko parlors seem to be a popular gathering place for bored Tokyo-ites and other city people right now who are happy to line up for hours to get inside, so, by being a closed-in space with poor ventilation where large crowds gather in close contact, pachinko parlors aren’t avoiding all of the “three c’s” recommended by the Japanese government by remaining open, so their efforts to “follow guidelines” appear shallow at best.

Toushikakeichan got quite a bit of attention from other Japanese netizens thanks to their tweet, and those who commented couldn’t believe what they were seeing:

“That’s a pretty high level prank.”

“Planned power outages?”

“Swing and a miss.”

“Sounds like they’re not doing jishuku at all.”

“They’re doing exactly the same thing they did after the 3/11 earthquake. Do they think there isn’t going to be enough electricity?”

“It sounds more like they’re just lowering their expenses!”

“It’s because of bullshit like this that the industry is getting more and more criticism…”

“I don’t think this is some kind of high level technique to fool the masses. I think they’re doing it for the irony, because of the criticism.”

“Are pachinko parlors really this stupid? We should tear them all down.”

“It’s only because they aren’t getting as many customers right now, so they’re trying to cut their expenses, the cheapskates.”

Whatever the real reason they’ve adopted such a policy, I think we can all agree that it’s not really going to be effective in stopping the spread of the virus. If it does lower the amount of customers who go inside, then that’s certainly good, but maybe it would better for them to close their doors altogether, like Tokyo Disneyland and the Ghibli Museum. That might be the most effective way to prevent the spread of the disease.

Source: Twitter/@toushikakeichan via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Proposed facial recognition system would send warning emails to families of pachinko addicts

-- Is pachinko headed for extinction in Japan? Studies reveal huge drop in players, hall operators

-- Pachinko parlor worker lists the three worst types of customers in Japan’s gambling dens

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I’m reading this,standing up in my crowded train wondering why this infection is being allowed to spread in Japan...

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Sure, that’ll do. Not as if pachinko parlors are literally THE perfect environment to spread this thing. Beyond belief just doesn’t cut it. Criminal.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Pachinko parlors are the perfect incubators and their clientele, mostly smokers, are prime candidates for infection and serious illness. Mandatory shut down of these facilities needs to happen immediately.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Well, at least hand sanitizer and disposable gloves are available there. Not that I would know.......... :/

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Pachinko parlors cynically skirting the law? I don't believe it. Next, you'll be telling me that they circumvent the anti-gambling laws.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

hmm environmental wise saves energy, and according to the Minister of Environment the parlor is making its business not only environmentally friendly but "cool and sexy".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ah yes, another corner of the Orwellian nightmare that is Japan's response to the Coronavirus. A good reminder that it is not just incompetent government, but also unethical industry that is doing its best to ensure Japan becomes the next Italy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wonder if they are sanitising the thousands of metal balls that everyone handles.? Yeah, right..

I pass a large popular pachinkoya every day. They often queue outside on machine change days. Its always open.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Ascissor, love the well informed sarcasm ...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

all bark and no bite makes for a pretty lame dog

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If we consider pachinko be a kind of addiction [it probably is, brain chemistry-wise] then people are going to be going to pachinko parlors whether advertised or not. The operators probably know this, too. What a joke.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Pachinko parlors cynically skirting the law? I don't believe it. Next, you'll be telling me that they circumvent the anti-gambling laws.


3 ( +3 / -0 )

Full of smokers too, these people will be the first to go

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Full of smokers too, these people will be the first to go

Perhaps not:


0 ( +0 / -0 )

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