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Japanese Urban Legends
Status: Urban legends
The blog of Mari Kanazawa has an interesting post about Japanese urban legends. Here are some of the highlights:

Turbo Gramma: When you drive on the highway at a blistering speed gramma knocks on the car window. If you see her, you will have a car accident. Someone made a turbo gramma game.

Touch the Red G-String: The delivery company trade mark of Sagawa is "Hikyaku", a traditional Japanese postman. Hikyaku wore a traditional red Japanese g-string Fundoshi! The legend was 'if you touch a red g-string on a sagawa truck, you will have good fortune, if you could touch it on a moving truck, the fortune would be bigger, and faster was better.' As far as I checked this story on the internet, many people wrote that they had tried touching it. I heard sagawa had to change their trade mark red g-string to red pants. ha ha ha

The Skylark Bellybutton: Skylark is a chain restaurant that we can find anywhere in Japan. The trade mark of the restaurant is a bird that has a bellybutton. The legend is if you can find one without a bellybutton, you can eat food free in the restaurant.

Hanako san in Toilet: There were many variation of the story but the basic one is very simple. It happens in a toilet at school: You knock three times on the toilet door, and say "Hanako san?" and you can hear someone reply "ha----i" quietly somewhere from empty toilet room. Because of this Hanako san boom, many kids could not go to toilet alone in those days. This Hanako san story was arranged and made into 4 movies.
PlacesUrban Legends
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 09, 2005

These legends are awesome, i especially love the toilet one!
Posted by Zoe  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  08:13 AM
The Hanako-san thing reminds of the Bloody Mary thing my friends and I did when we were kids.

You lock yourself in the bathroom with no lights on and say "Bloody Mary" over and over until a woman's severed head supposedly appears.

I never saw the severed head. Then again, I was never brave enough to say "Bloody Mary" more than three times.
Posted by Amanda  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  04:27 PM

Reply what? Enough with the self-censorship. Just tell what the fucking word is for god sake.
Posted by Pffft!  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  04:45 AM
"Hai" is the romanji representation of the Japanese for "yes". The hyphens aren't there for censorship but to indicate that it is a drawn-out reply, much in the same way someone might write "spo-o-oky" or "ok-a-y". Du-uh!
Posted by David B.  in  Reading, England.  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  06:23 AM
"... The trade mark of the restaurant is a bird that has a bellybutton. ..."

Is the restaurant company trying to make some kind of statement with this, or does it just have a really poor grasp of zoology?
Posted by Big Gary in Ouagadougou  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  06:42 PM
Japanese urban legends are really really odd - and occasionally really really spooky and make great horror movies (and then totally spoiled by American remakes later)
Posted by Nona  in  London  on  Tue Mar 13, 2007  at  08:55 AM
ok well im canadian and i heard that the hanoko movie wasnt scary ... the scariest part was the cover of the movie . anaywzyz i know if i were a director i could make it awsome . but it would have to be in english though x]
Posted by Misery  on  Sat Jul 26, 2008  at  06:56 PM
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