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 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.
▼ Ironically, Merries is currently running a sales promotion in Japan called the “Smile and Peace Campaign.”
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.