Let’s take this rare sighting of an S-Class bakkura to learn a little about what being a bakkura is all about.
Despite all the talk of Japan being a homogeneous society, there are certainly a lot of distinct personalities from the secluded hikkikomori to the obsessive otaku to the punchy yet occasionally glamorous yankee.
But there is one group of people had only started to really be understood in the past decade or so: the bakkura.
The word “bakkura” is derived from “bakkureru” which can mean “to duck out of something.” In an interesting cross-language linguistic move, an “-er” suffix appears to have been added to the end of this Japanese verb to denote “one who ducks out of something.” However since “er” is not a pronounceable Japanese sound, it becomes “a,” hence “bakkura.”
A bakkura is perhaps best described as someone who will brazenly get out of doing a chore or even a part-time job without permission. A convenient translation might be a “buckler” meaning they buckle under the stress of responsibility, but that would discount all the bakkura who might just be plain lazy.
▼ A bakkura should not be confused with a Bakula,
who is arguably the hardest worker in all sci-fi-dom.
Furthermore, not all bakkura are created equal. In fact, the noted sociologists at 2-chan have developed a ranking system to classify bakkura sightings. It is as follows:
“A legendary bakkura, while under the pretense of earning a salary they will instead suddenly disappear, taking all the money from the register and/or merchandise with them. The strongest bakkura. Depending on the case, they may be thrown in jail, and so even from other bakkura they are viewed with a certain sense of awe.”
“This is a popular class among young people. These bakkura will poop outside of toilet bowls, destroy store displays, and then disappear during work. They engage in disruptive behavior at the workplace to such an extent that it elevates them above the rest. Although the general public cannot understand their actions, their rebellious spirit is endearing to certain people.”
“They do their job normally, but when they get to an important position in the workplace, they simply disappear. The effect of this bakkura is often enormous and can even bring a company to its knees. It is said that these bakkura require great perseverance because they must work much longer than the others. Thus they are far rarer than the C-Class Bakkura.”
“They work for a few days, but then disappear after a week or two. The impact on the workplace is small, so these bakkura can keep their stress to a minimum and not waste any more of their precious time. As a result this is the highest level that still can be said to have a future ahead of them.”
“These brave souls will disappear on the first day. Because they evaluate their work environment as unsuitable in only one day, they possess keen judgment.”
“They disappear from work in a matter of hours or even minutes after starting. They are like phantoms, and others are left wondering if they ever existed in the first place. In fact these bakkura have such lightning-fast technique that they too are left feeling uncertain that they were ever at that workplace to begin with.”
(Note: The reason a “bronze bakkura” is ranked higher than a “gold bakkura”
has to do with a Saint Seiya reference rather than the actual value of the metals.)
So among the bakkura research communities it was with great fanfare that an actual S-Class Bakkura was discovered in Kariya city, Aichi Prefecture. The 23-year-old woman was on her first day of a part-time job starting at 9:00 a.m. However, by 4:00 p.m. she was nowhere to be found and about 100,000 yen (US$900) that was meant to have been transferred from the cash register to the safe was gone as well.
The ensuing investigation was rather simple as the store already had all of the suspect’s personal information thanks to her job application. Police say that upon arrest she confessed to the crime, thus officially putting her in the illustrious S-Class. Naturally the net was abuzz at this sighting.
“Amazing, for such a pathetic amount of money she just ruined her employment record and set the rest of her life to hard mode.”
“But it was the first day. You know what this means?! A legendary S-Class Gold Bakkura!!! This is off the charts!”
“The highest form of bakkura has emerged.”
“I wonder if she was thinking ‘I’m the strongest bakkura’ when she got arrested.”
“Wow, stealing money and skipping out on the first day… fascinating.”
“She steals a little money for her job… now she has no job. What is the reason for this behavior? Is it a brain defect?”
It is an often-cited insect-fact that during mating, a female praying mantis will tear off and eat the male’s head. The reasons for this behavior aren’t entirely understood and seem quite reckless and self-destructive. We can only assume that there is some complex unseen method to the madness, or just chalk it up to the chaos of nature.
In the same way, we can only watch and wonder as someone steals a small amount of money or poops on the sales floor their company, thus sabotaging their entire life for no apparent reason. More research will be needed to determine if this is just random self-destruction or if there is a pattern to this sort of behavior. So we would like to salute the brave researchers out there on the Japanese internet who are spending way too much time finding answers. Excelsior!