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Two families brawl in Kobe home center over diapers

23 Comments
By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

After a long, tiring week at work, most people don’t feel like jumping out of bed to be somewhere by 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning. The prospect usually doesn’t get any sweeter if the reason for dragging themselves out from under the sheets is as mundane as going shopping for diapers with their spouse and mother-in-law.

Nonetheless, that is what not one, but two families living in Hyogo Prefecture did last weekend. Still, the trip wasn’t as dull as it could have been. As a matter of fact, if anything there was too much excitement, as the two families ended up getting into a seven-person brawl, since they appear to be rival factions competing for riches in the wild speculative trade sector of reselling Japanese diapers in China.

At roughly 8:20 in the morning on Saturday, August 8, the Tarumi police precinct in Kobe received an emergency call from a nearby home center. The employee who’d made the call reported that a fight had broken out in the store, and that some of those involved had been injured.

When officers arrived on the scene, they discovered that seven combatants had been involved in the melee. On one side were a Chinese married couple in their 30s, who had come from their home in nearby Akashi City with their son, whose age was listed as between 10 and 19, and the wife’s mother, who is in her 50s. Their opponents had been a married couple in their 30s living in Kobe, the husband a Japanese national and the wife Chinese, and the wife’s 50-something mother.

It seems that both groups had come looking for Merries brand infant diapers, despite the fact that even if any of them do have issues with incontinence, they’d need larger sizes than what are available in the Merries line. As such, it seems safe to conclude that they’re suppliers in the lucrative Chinese resale market for made-in-Japan Merries, despite the company also producing and selling its products directly in China.

Both parties timed their arrivals to coincide with the store’s opening at 8 a.m., but unfortunately for them the home center was sold out of the booty-covering booty they were searching for. The two families did find each other, though, and it seems this wasn’t their first encounter, as they’d crossed paths and squabbled before while on a bulk-shopping excursion.

Even with no Merries to compete over that day, the two families began to argue, which eventually turned to grappling and blows being exchanged, with a number of the participants shedding blood and later receiving treatment at the hospital for “minor injuries to the head and shoulders,” because apparently punching someone in the stomach is against the Diaper Trader Code.

When asked by the police for the exact circumstances that led to the fight, the family from Akashi was unable to give a response in Japanese. The Japanese-born husband from Kobe of course had no such language barrier to contend with, but refused to make a statement. Since neither party filed a damage claim or made an official complaint, none of the seven individuals who had been involved in the disturbance were detained, although the police plan to interview both families again in the near future.

Source: Sanspo

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Hungry for Justice (and Bento), Alleged Kobe Thief Turns Himself In -- Yoro shisetsu: Japan’s progressive joint care centers where kids and seniors interact -- ‘”Married Men Don’t Look Happy!” “Wives Unnecessary!”: An Increasing Number of Japanese Men Opting for Bachelorhood

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23 Comments
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booty-covering booty

The cherry on top of a hilarious story.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

So everybody was Kung Fu Fighting? Were they fast as lightning?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Were they fighting over Pampers,Huggies or Depends??

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The listed son should tell his old farts to print & copy the Merries package wrapers

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Were they fighting over Pampers,Huggies or Depends??

Huggies and Depends don't exist in Japan. They tend to go after the "Made in Japan" diapers Merries. If those are out, the settle on Moomy.

Kobe seems to be a hotbed for diaper hunters because it is a port city with lots of ships heading to China. Instead of their territorial dispute, these people should just head inland where the could find thousands of home centers and drugstores.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

these people should just head inland where the could find thousands of home centers and drugstores.

They would still have to make the rounds of lots of stores to get enough to resell. Most of the places nowadays limit to one pack per group (not individual as the Chinese tend to come in groups) per day. Lots of places have signs nowadays in Chinese informing of the diaper limit. Even with such limits, stores are often out diapers for local parents with real babies.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This reminds me of some of the low-lifes in CA on Black Friday. They'll wait in line at wallmart for hours. Then, once inside, they'll throw blows over a 52" flatscreen selling for $99 bucks or so. We read that kind of news every yr. Laughable.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Very comical. I just wonder why they have gone out of their way to fight only over diapers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hahah hilarious! These events should be on tv then I might tune in again to watch!!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's all about the money. Even though Merries diapers are not cheap here in Japan, people in China are willing to pay more than twice their value.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I walked into the drug store in Awaji to find the diaper section had next to nothing in it. 'I'm so sorry', said an employee, "a group came in and bought them all up". They said that production can't keep up, and they don't know when they're getting more in. Even here? It was something I'd heard about happening in cities, not places like this.

I had just read this story with DH before going to the store. I went back out to the car and told DH what had happened and he said, "At least you didn't get punched" ha,ha! Unbelievable though, how they just completely buy up everything in sight, leaving the locals high and dry.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

When officers arrived on the scene, they discovered that seven combatants had been involved in the melee. On one side were a Chinese married couple in their 30s, who had come from their home in nearby Akashi City with their son, whose age was listed as between 10 and 19, and the wife’s mother, who is in her 50s. Their opponents had been a married couple in their 30s living in Kobe, the husband a Japanese national and the wife Chinese, and the wife’s 50-something mother.

Well, the above explains a lot. Aggressive Chinese are not unusual, even outside of their home countries. Those especially from the mainland have this assertive, dog-eat-dog mentality that reflects their culture.

If all of them were Japanese most likely none of this would have happened.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So everybody was Kung Fu Fighting? Were they fast as lightning?

It was a little bit frightening, as it called for expert timing.

I don't know, but here's a suggestion. Maybe shops should stop allowing one or two groups of people to buy the entire stock and ration them to a couple of packets per person.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds like a bunch of babies fighting over diapers...pathetic !!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Between 10 and 19 and still wearing diapers?? I think you got a lot more to worry about!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds like a bunch of babies fighting over diapers...pathetic !! yes true but when you see how much money can be made reselling them in China youd understand why. The main problem is that like many Japanese retail stores if people buy too much of an item they ration them!? only in Japan would a company would limit how much potential sales a store/staff could actually be making. Funny thing is these diapers are available in China, problem is due to the huge problem of counterfeiting foreign goods , Chinese will only trust that buying the items from the country of origin guarantees that they are genuine, and theyll pay a premium, you cant really blame them. Same thing happens for baby formula/foods from NZ Australia , the Chinese buy it up by the box loads and ship it back to China, this way they know that the items are made in those countries to those countries strict government quality controls. Government quality controls in China is a joke at best.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps they should put signs up only in hiragana/katakana without kanji. Make the chinese learn the language before fighting over diapers. I'm not gonna go in someone else's house and fight, not even bothering to speak the homeowner's language. Thought one had to have jlpt level 4 at least to live in japan. Are they illegals?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Disgusting. I would sentence all adults involved to wear diapers for a day!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not long ago, I went to buy gifts for my nieces.

In front of me, about 10 Chinese with boxes of diapers...

Stores restrict to one box per person, so they come in groups.

Rather annoying...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The main problem is that like many Japanese retail stores if people buy too much of an item they ration them!? only in Japan would a company would limit how much potential sales a store/staff could actually be making.

You have a little retail drug store that usually sells 200 bags of diapers a week. One day a group of Chinese tourists comes in and buys your whole inventory. Do you now order 400 bags a week or go on as usual, as the buying spree could be a one-off?

These groups are literally buying stores' whole inventories, buying in unprecedented amounts, enough to fill containers going to China. They are buying enough that supply is affected. It's an unusual situation. The diaper factories have stepped up production, they've done what they can, what more can they do? The boom will end one day, as soon as Chinese makers start to make disposable diapers as good as Merries and greatly expanded factory capacity will definitely be a burden...remember the glut of factories and companies that went under when the nata de coco boom ended, bankruptcies right and left in the Philippines? Doubling production capacity/building new factories for a boom like this is not the answer.

If groups of tourists are determined to buy every box of diapers in a given area for their own profit-making, leaving people who actually have small children who need them without any, rationing is the only answer, as they have failed to respond to appeals to reason.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've seen these diaper-buying groups of Chinese several times. I once even took a picture of a small mountain of diapers (yes Merries) being guarded while waiting for pickup.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Perhaps they should put signs up only in hiragana/katakana without kanji. Make the chinese learn the language before fighting over diapers. I'm not gonna go in someone else's house and fight, not even bothering to speak the homeowner's language.

Yeah, because speaking Japanese would totally make it okay to fight over diapers.

Thought one had to have jlpt level 4 at least to live in japan. Are they illegals?

No. Not even close to being correct. Many foreigners live here for decades with little to no Japanese language ability.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm out to buy shares in.....diaper factories!!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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