Wasabi Terrorism?! Conveyor Belt Sushi Chain Sues Customer for “Prank”

Wasabi Terrorism?! Conveyor Belt Sushi Chain Sues Customer for “Prank”

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Wasabi ground and set on a plate
Picture: masa / PIXTA(ピクスタ)
A conveyer belt sushi chain says they're filing a police complaint against a customer for a viral sushi wasabi attack.

One of the worst surprises you can have is biting into food that’s outside of your spice level. That might have happened to one customer at a conveyor belt sushi chain in Japan. And the chain isn’t letting the matter end with a simple apology.

The controversy involves a man at the chain Hamazushi. In a video originally posted to an Instagram story, a customer uses a spoon to dump a heap of wasabi on an order. The order is a specially ordered item intended for another customer. Viewers can hear another man seated with the prankster laughing in the video.

ガッテム竹内(元ハガキ職人) on Twitter: “他人の注文した寿司にわさび乗せイタズラ↓またTikTokやYouTubeのバズり乞食の所業↓はま寿司、加害者から謝罪はあったが事態を重く見て、被害届を提出予定↓当然だよ、被害届だすべき。 pic.twitter.com/of3j4NC7Ko / Twitter”

他人の注文した寿司にわさび乗せイタズラ↓またTikTokやYouTubeのバズり乞食の所業↓はま寿司、加害者から謝罪はあったが事態を重く見て、被害届を提出予定↓当然だよ、被害届だすべき。 pic.twitter.com/of3j4NC7Ko

Instagram stories disappear within 24 hours. However, as anyone who’s been on the Internet for a hot minute knows, this doesn’t prevent a particularly egregious incident like this from drawing attention. The story escaped the bounds of Instagram and went viral on TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter. The original poster deleted his Instagram account shortly after.

Despite going viral around January 13th, the video is still making the rounds of aggregator sites and promoting new outrage almost two weeks later.

The offender called Hamazushi headquarters and apologized. However, a representative told Japan’s JCast News that they’re planning to file an official police complaint. Few other details are available at the moment. However, it’s likely the chain will file a complaint under Japan’s obstruction of business laws (業務妨害; gyoumi bougai).

It’s unclear whether a customer actually ate the wasabi-bathed morsel.

Food Terrorism

Wasabi
Picture: shige hattori / PIXTA(ピクスタ)

This isn’t the first case of “food terrorism” in Japan. Another video went viral this month, depicting a customer sniping a special-order sushi from another customer’s plate. Ironically, this also happened at a Hamazushi, whose representatives sound like they’re fed up being the butt of customer’s bad jokes.

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渡海 千明 on Twitter: “はま寿司 担当者「会社として到底容認できません。模倣されることによって、ビジネスモデル自体が揺れ動いてしまうもので、非常に重く受け止めています」「毒性の高いものが混入される可能性もないわけではありません。酷ければ殺人に繋がるものもありえます」訴訟案件🚨pic.twitter.com/wJ3XVaw1Vg / Twitter”

はま寿司 担当者「会社として到底容認できません。模倣されることによって、ビジネスモデル自体が揺れ動いてしまうもので、非常に重く受け止めています」「毒性の高いものが混入される可能性もないわけではありません。酷ければ殺人に繋がるものもありえます」訴訟案件🚨pic.twitter.com/wJ3XVaw1Vg

Hamazushi says they have consulted police in this prior case. However, they couldn’t identify the customer responsible for gripping a nigiri that wasn’t theirs.

In a statement to reporters, Hamazushi defended its aggressive prosecution of the prankster. The company expressed concern that such actions could contaminate another customer’s food and lead to illness.

“As a company, we absolutely cannot tolerate this,” the company said. “If replicated, this could have an enormous impact on our business model. We’re taking it very, very seriously.”

In 2019, a unique form of food terrorism went viral when videos of part-time workers mishandling food made national headlines. Experts at the time said this was another case of people believing they were safe posting controversial outtakes on their Instagram stories.

Hamazushi is the second largest sushi restaurant chain in Japan. The company mainly operates in Japan, with seven stores in Taiwan.

The popularity of conveyor belt sushi has declined a little in recent years. However, Hamazushi and other chains reported an uptick in stores and business in 2022.

In Japan, Says Survey, Food Matters (Way) More Than Sex

Sources

@GTT214 on Twitter

他人の寿司にわさび乗せイタズラ…はま寿司が被害届提出へ 投稿動画が炎上→加害者謝罪も厳正対応. JCast

回転寿司で「他人注文のすし」食う動画拡散…はま寿司は警察に相談「到底容認できない」. Bengo4

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Jay Allen

Jay is a resident of Tokyo where he works as a reporter for Unseen Japan and as a technial writer. A lifelong geek, wordsmith, and language fanatic, he has level N1 certification in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) and is fervently working on his Kanji Kentei Level 2 certification.

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