Now everyone in Japan is free to exercise their inalienable right to hit themselves in the head – openly and without fear of prosecution.
On 8 March, Judge Kazuo Oizumi of the Hiroshima High Court reversed the weapon concealment conviction of a 48-year-old chiropractor. The previous conviction was handed down after a police officer discovered three pairs of nunchaku in the man’s car while questioning him in the parking lot of a convenience store.
The details of what happened in the parking lot were unclear, but I assume it went something like this:
The man had originally been fined 9,900 yen (US$86.50), but Judge Oizumi rescinded the punishment ruling that, “In modern times, nunchaku are used for legitimate purposes like as a hobby or martial art training exercise” and that “It was reasonable to assume someone would have a collection of them [in a car] to train with after work.”
A fair judgment seeing as nunchaku have to be one of the least effective weapons in existence. This is evidenced by the fact that Michelangelo is consistently the worst character in any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game. Moreover if I were about to go into battle and given a choice of nunchaku or a spoon, I would choose the spoon without missing a beat – I could at least try to poke at my enemy’s eyes with a spoon.
The fact that this man had three pairs only works in his favor as nunchaku are one of the few weapons in existence that are less effective the more you have of them. They’d just get tangled up. Don’t get me wrong. In the right hands, nunchaku are quite possibly the coolest thing on Earth. For example, here is the master himself, Bruce Lee at work.
But who among us can reach that level of skill? You would be better off channeling the energy and discipline needed to do that into becoming a doctor or super-fast finger snapper.
Here’s what readers of the news had to say:
“Bruce Lee himself said that nunchaku have almost no offensive power and are only good for performance.”
“I would be more afraid of a guy wielding Joy-Con.”
“I guess some cop was trying to meet a quota.”
“The policeman who made the arrest was probably more of a Jackie Chan guy.”
“It was probably a good arrest. Anyone hanging out in a parking lot with nunchucks is up to no good.”
So it would appear that most are in agreement that nunchaku are hardly weapons and should be allowed to be carried freely in Japan.
But don’t go dusting of that RPG launcher in your closet for a quick run to the 7-Eleven just yet. Remember what one man and his car-load of ninja stars taught us: not all weaponry is judged the same, so proceed with caution and a little common sense.