It was a normal day at the RocketNews24 office. Writers were writing, editors were editing, and webmasters were…well, no one knows what webmasters do, but they were definitely doing it like crazy. A quiet and peaceful Tuesday, it was…but not for long!
Suddenly, the front door flew open, and a dark figure filled the frame. “PILLOW FIGHT!!!” screamed Mr. Sato as he charged into the room. “Eat my Pillows Officially Recognized by the All Japan Pillow Fighting Association!” he shouted, flinging bedding with as much skill as twenty experienced sleepover tweens combined.
“I wiiiin!” our rampaging Japanese writer cackled before sprinting out of the office for another cup of Starbucks, leaving his co-workers baffled and defeated.
Picking ourselves up, we looked around and could but only wonder: “What the heck is a Pillow Officially Recognized by the All Japan Pillow Fighting Association?”
Unfortunately, as real as the above story might seem, it is actually little more than a fabrication. Come February 28, though, it might be more prophetic than amusing! That’s the day that an actual “Pillow Officially Recognized by the All Japan Pillow Fighting Association” goes on sale to the general public for 3,150 yen (about US$32). Produced by Makura Kabushikigaisha, literally “Pillow Corporation,” the pugilistic bedding has been specifically designed for a good–yet relatively harmless–walloping.
But why do simple pillows cost over $30?
Well, to start with, the pillows are packed with soft, perfectly-weighted crushed latex. According to the company, the internals are just heavy enough to be good for throwing it at someone’s face while still being elastic enough to keep your target from getting injured!
▼For some reason, “pillows” aren’t the first thing we think of when we think of “latex.”
In addition to the “perfect for beating your friends with” stuffing, the pillows also come without any tags or fasteners that might cause injury. Pillow Corporation has obviously put a lot of thought into making this weaponized bedding as painless as possible.
Finally, the fabric is white and gray, which is supposed to make it easier to spot the spinning cushions coming straight for your face. Basically, the pillows are perfectly designed for a legendary–but fair!–pillow fight, as you would expect from something officially recognized by a national pillow fighting organization!
Speaking of which, the second annual All Japan Pillow Fighting Tournament was held just last weekend in Ito City, Shizuoka Prefecture. In case you’re wondering what in the world a pillow fighting tournament is, it’s basically like dodgeball–but fluffier!
▼Let the games begin!
Teams of five could enter for a very reasonable 2,000 yen (about $20) and competed for a grand prize of 100,000 yen (roughly $1,000). The rules of this competition were fairly straightforward: Teams had to stay on their own court, which was an area of 20 tatami mats (about 356 square feet), and throw pillows at the opposing team. Everyone got one blanket, which was used as a shield, and getting hit directly by a pillow sent you out.
▼Nearly perfect pillow-flinging form on display here…but she left herself unguarded!
So far, the comparison to dodgeball holds up, but there’s one rather significant difference! Periodically, a judge would blow a whistle and call out, “The teacher is coming!” Then, one team would have to lie down and pretend to sleep, while a single member from the other team would walk over and steal as many pillows as possible, after which the game would begin again.
▼”Tonight, we dine in bed!”
It might be kind of hard to imagine all of this, but, fortunately, YouTube has come to the rescue! Check out this video from last year’s All Japan Pillow Fighting Tournament to see the vicious combatants in action!
Jeez, we had no idea how aggressive a pillow fight could get! Turns out there’s more than one way to get a good work out in bed.
Hmmm…we’re thinking we need to assemble an official RocketNews24 Pillow Fighting Team for next year’s tournament! Just think of all the bacon burgers we could get with 100,000 yen. We would be able to build an entirely new Mr. Sato!