Photo: Pakutaso
national

Sushi chef drops knives on train, causing panic and delays

34 Comments
By SoraNews24

Given the general rarity of firearms in Japan, knives are frequently used by those looking to intimidate others or inflict violence. And among those, kitchen knives are frequently mentioned in armed robbery reports, likely due to their imposing size and sharpness.

So these kitchen tools can be a cause for alarm when seen outside of their natural habitat, such as on an express train running along the Keikyu Airport Line in Ota, Tokyo, at about 6:40 p.m. on Aug 26. It was there that three kitchen knives fell out of a man’s bag, causing one panicked passenger to hit the emergency door cock, a lever that allows passengers to manually open carriage doors.

The train made an emergency stop at Anamori-inari Station so passengers could escape through the doors onto the platform. Some also called the emergency number 110 for the police or posted on social media that “there is a person with a knife” on the train.

All service was temporarily suspended on the Keikyu Airport Line for up to 40 minutes due to the commotion. However, it was quickly learned that the owner of the knives was simply a sushi chef in his 50s who was moving the blades to his new workplace. He was a little tipsy at the time and had dozed off while riding the train and a sashimi knife, regular kitchen knife, and a pointed carving knife known as a deba bocho that he kept in a drawstring bag had gotten loose and fell out when he moved.

▼ News report showing passengers evacuating the train

A witness in one of the other train cars said he saw the passengers flee, but noticed that the owner of the knives was not acting violently and calmly cooperated with the police when they arrived. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police said that they would not press charges since he had a legitimate reason for carrying the knives.

Online comments, however, were not so lenient about the careless handling of sharp objects.

“Wrap it up properly!”

“Shouldn’t they be in cases? That way even if they fall out, it’s not obvious what they are.”

“He doesn’t seem very professional.”

“Imagine if someone had jumped out onto the tracks and got hit…”

“When I went to cooking school, I would always carry knives on the train. I guess you can’t do that anymore.”

“As punishment he should do community service by sharpening people’s knives for free.”

“I think he should be arrested for that. People have been arrested for much less with knives.”

“If we had guns, this wouldn’t happen.”

“People get arrested for carrying screwdrivers, but this guy is OK.”

The rule of thumb with carrying knives in Japan is that you need to have an immediate, lawful reason for having it. Recently the police issued a warning to people who take knives camping to not leave them in their car. If an officer finds the knife during the camping trip, then it’s generally permitted, but if they find it three days after, then it can be deemed an offense.

This creates a lot of ambiguity, and people who carry knives and sometimes even other tools like screwdrivers for “just in case” purposes can find themselves at the mercy of the judgment of the officer who finds the item. So, be careful with tools while out in public in Japan, because it’s risky business…unless you’re a drunk sushi chef apparently.

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Hachima Kiko

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

34 Comments
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causing one panicked passenger to hit the emergency door cock, a lever that allows passengers to manually open carriage doors.

One panic person really cause that chaos.

the owner of the knives was simply a sushi chef in his 50s who was moving the blades to his new workplace.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police said that they would not press charges since he had a legitimate reason for carrying the knives.

1 ( +21 / -20 )

I always go camping and I don't have a car.I carry my backpack and in it is my camping gear including my camping knife which is neatly sealed and always at the bottom of the bag.

I used to work for a company that sells camping gear including camping knives and that was the general rule.Make sure it's completely wrapped and not within easy reach.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

I always go camping and I don't have a car.I carry my backpack and in it is my camping gear including my camping knife which is neatly sealed and always at the bottom of the bag.

I used to work for a company that sells camping gear including camping knives and that was the general rule.Make sure it's completely wrapped and not within easy reach.

Same thing is true for small swiss army-esque knives in your bike bag for emergency repairs. The knife rules here like many other things are usually nonsensical and ineffective.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Irresponsible chef half drunk and carried the knives in a drawstring bag ?

The knives should have been in a hard case.

Luckily nobody was injured.

He should pay compensation for delaying the train.

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

Irresponsible chef half drunk and carried the knives in a drawstring bag ?

Could have been a standard knife roll. But they also come with buckles and zips as well as drawstrings, so maybe he should have been a bit more careful in Japan where knives are regulated.

Same thing is true for small swiss army-esque knives in your bike bag for emergency repairs

I think it depends on the length of the blade. Below 5.5 cms is okay as far as I know. Perhaps better to go with a multi tool?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Those kind of knives are hand made and incredibly expensive. A lot of chefs, not only sushi, take them home instead of leaving them in the restaurant. Sounds like the panicked passenger caused most of the trouble instead of the tipsy sushi chef. Who here has never dozed off on a train once or twice and had items fall from your bag? But yeah he probably should have stored them in a secure case.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

It was there that three kitchen knives fell out of a man’s bag, causing one panicked passenger to hit the emergency door cock, a lever that allows passengers to manually open carriage doors.

Sounds like it was a bad day for this guy, I hope the knives are okay. Those are crazy expensive.

The train made an emergency stop at Awamori Inari Station so passengers could escape through the doors onto the platform. Some also called the emergency number 110 for the police or posted on social media that “there is a person with a knife” on the train.

I understand the cause for alarm, but people nowadays are too jittery. If this happened several decades ago, hardly anyone would probably freak out. And yes, I agree with @sakurasuki, all it takes is one hysterical person to cause hysteria among the crowd. Seen this before in person. A large rat just came out of a drain and started running about inside an underground walkway, to which the people stampeded out. Always keep your calm, folks. Losing your head won't do you any good.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Article title should be,

Knifes running around on a train out of their " natural Habitat " ( . . )

h

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

That chef isn't very sharp. Life in Japan isn't dull.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

And among those, kitchen knives are frequently mentioned in armed robbery reports, likely due to their imposing size and sharpness.

Japan also has a history of knife attacks on trains.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“Wrap it up properly!”

And put the knife away, too!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

quote: Who here has never dozed off on a train once or twice and had items fall from your bag?

Me, for one. I don't wander about in public drunk, either.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It takes more than a 105mm Howitzer to rile me at all.

Just SEEING someone drop a knife / knives ?

Did he look STARTLED, like he was SURPRISED and picked them up and immediately put them away ?

People really need to just calm down, everyone isn’t OUT to GET you.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

He should make sushi for all those travelers.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Delays on the Keikyu Line happen fairly regularly but I didn't know that was what caused the delay last week. Ever since the start of the pandemic their service has also been a cut below the rest.

By the way, that station's name is Anamori-inari. Awamori is the local alcohol in Okinawa.

Moderator: Thank you. The mistake has been corrected.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Charges dropped, only because he’s a sushi chef? It’s not allowed anyway to show knives in public if their blades are longer than 6cm.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

He needs to learn to stow his tools of the trade away better, not least because they are frightfully expensive.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Good to hear that the Chef calmly cooperated with the Police. Imagine the tipsy Chef woke up and got panicked with all other passengers and trying to escape with them. That could be real chaos to know who is running from whom.

May be "I am drunk and do not remember a thing" excuse could still be sufficient to drop the charges.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oops! There goes my sushi knife collection!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I mean it was not as if he was threatening people with the knifes! they fell out of his bag while he was asleep for god sake!

Back in the day I used to play commandos with mates at night in the parks around Tokyo using BB guns. We always used to catch the trains. Luckily they never fell out of our bags as the fact they are exact replicates of the guns they are modelled after could have caused some stir...and probably got us naughty gaijin a stay in the police station overnight if not longer...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What a wimp! Why didn't he just open his eyes and look instead of panicking? The guy wasn't attacking anybody!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There have been many stabbings, including mass stabbings, in Japan. So, the people on the train were entirely justified in their fear.

Stories about knife violence are almost a daily feature on Japan Today and other Japanese news sites.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sven AsaiToday  10:04 am JST

Charges dropped, only because he’s a sushi chef? It’s not allowed anyway to show knives in public if their blades are longer than 6cm.

From the article:

"The Tokyo Metropolitan Police said that they would not press charges since he had a legitimate reason for carrying the knives."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

That wouldn't have affected me. Just an accident, but I'm not Japanese - different mind set.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

With recent incidents on trains where people were attacked in some cases with knives, it's understandable that some are nervous and may overreact. Simple solution: out the knives in a secure case. If they're so valuable, better to protect them anyway,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Paranoia; Self Destroya

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“If we had guns, this wouldn’t happen.”

LOL.

Seriously, poor judgement on this man's part for not putting his knives in Saya's or blades wrapped so that even if they fell out people wouldn't panic. Better still in some case/bag that won't open by itself.

A year or two ago there was a violent knife incident on a Shinkansen that caused a new law to be enacted requiring knives to be put into cases and in a manner not easily accessible. Perhaps the same rule should be enacted for all forms of public transportation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sven AsaiToday  10:04 am JST

Charges dropped, only because he’s a sushi chef? It’s not allowed anyway to show knives in public if their blades are longer than 6cm.

Yes the charges were dropped because he had "lawful purpose" to be carrying the knives. That purpose was his profession and that he was in transit to his place of work.

You can lawfully carry a knife in Japan when engaged in outdoor activities such as Hunting, Fishing. Camping, Hiking. etc. Carrying in the middle of town or out drinking at night is unlawful.

The length of hte blade 6cm has nothing to do with "lawful purpose". That blade length only determines if you get charged as a "Light Offense" or "Gun & Sword Law" violation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

...and sometimes even other tools like screwdrivers for “just in case” purposes can find themselves at the mercy of the judgment of the officer who finds the item.

Didn't know screwdrivers had become illegal. What next, toothbrushes?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He should have properly secured and concealed the knives, however, the passenger could have assessed the situation a little better before pulling the emergency switch. The man was drunk and asleep. People here are on edge, man.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The 50 years old Shushi master old may have neglected to secure his "Wa-bocho", and been a tad wobbly dues to one sake to many.

Passenger paranoia turn this hapless Shushi master into a cross between a potential Freddy Krueger or Jack the ripper.

This craziness says more about J culture fear of the unexpected, and the need for the Government to face societies demons.

I have witnessed a passenger in Nagoya having purchased a vintage Samurai sword then venturing on the underground.

I never thought for a moment, or my fellow passengers, the danger of a re enactment of the last of the Samurai

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Listen I am a craftsman and used to carry my kiridashi and other tools with me but since the changes I avoid it unless going straight from point A to point B.

I do carry a fully legal size knife on a keychain as I still often need it when out working looking at client's things to evaluate repairs.

These knives are written right on the package legal to carry

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Who keeps knives in a drawstring bag? They should be in a hard case or one of those rolled up knife bags. I think the passenger who pulled the emergency break overreacted a little but hey, I guess better safe than sorry?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

we became a society of "scaredy cats"...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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