Lady Living in a Closet in A Guy’s House in Japan – The Story from Japan

May 31, 2008

I once watched a tv show with “true crime” stories. One of the stories was of a woman who accidentally broke the thin plaster wall between her apartment and her next door neighbor’s. She only broke a little of it, but enough to see how much nicer his apartment was than hers, he had a Play Station, plasma tv, and a full refrigerator. She pulled away all the plaster right behind a poster he had on the wall. Then when he went to work, or was out, she would sneak into his place, eat all his food, play his video games and enjoy his air conditioning. Eventually, naturally, she was caught and arrested.

Now, in the news there’s a story about a woman who lived in a man’s closet. For some reason, thanks to the pop-Japanology and the way the media portrays Japan, all the news of suicides and dismemberments, news about the way the government has caused a spate of elderly person suicides by suddenly passing a law that forces senior citizens to pay for healthcare using money from their pensions…

Associated Press gives us the story about the closet lady.

And they even managed to get a part of it wrong… the part they got wrong was the file photo they used.

Here’s the photo Associated Press used in this story:

The problem is that the woman lived in a part of a Japanese closet called “oshi-ire” that’s called the “tenbukuro”. The “tenbukuro” is a small upper section of the typical Japanese closet, which is not even pictured in the AP file photo. The “tenbukuro” part of the story is in the HEADLINES of most of the Japanese articles about this news item.

Here’s a picture of a Japanese closet with the “tenbukuro” being the two small secitions at the top. The woman was apparently very neat and clean. She slept on a small mattress in the “tenbukuro”, ate food from his kitchen, and even took showers.

Here’s a better picture of the type of closet she probably lived in. Note the separate sections at the top – the “tenbukuro”

He’s single and out of work. She’s homeless but clean and, uh… resourceful. Some people on the blogs here have been half-jokingly saying they should just get married and call it even.Technoratiのタグ Japanese closet woman