This is probably the strangest survey I’ve translated since my one on the top folklore and superstitions. This time we look with goo Ranking at the urban legends that might just be true. As I am no expert in Japanese rumours, some of the translations may be wrong, and some of the rumours just seem rather odd, but I hope my readers can help me out. The survey was conducted between the 19th and 21st of June 2007.
I thought that fan death was interesting – this is a popular legend in Korea, but I didn’t know anyone really took it seriously in Japan. Perhaps interestingly, number 10, skin breathing, comes from the Bond film Goldfinger. Ian Fleming invented other such rumours, for example the one about Sumo wrestlers being trained to retract their testicles, and that gay people cannot whistle. Finally, I’d be shocked, quite frankly, if there wasn’t a bomb shelter underneath the Diet! Perhaps, however, the rumours go further.
Oh, and how I wish number 25 was true!
Q: Which Urban Legends do you feel might just be true?
Rank Urban Legend Score 1 In the Aokigahara forest (Sea of Trees) at the bottom of Mount Fuji, compass needles don’t point north 100 2 There is a part-time job at hospitals washing dead bodies 80.7 3 In “education with breathing space” (yutori kyouiku) children learn Pi equals 3 76.2 4 If you take a photo of three people, the one in the middle will die prematurely 75.2 5 If you get taken in for questioning by the police you will get served pork cutlets on rice (katsu don) 72.9 6 In the pond at a particular park, two lovers rode a boat and split up 69.6 7 Hiccup 100 times in a row and you’ll drop dead 66.5 8 To repay a loan, one has to go off on a tuna boat 61.1 9 An electrical maker was sued when someone dried their cat in the microwave 58.3 10 You will die if your skin cannot breath 55.1 11 People haven’t really gone to the moon 53.1 12 Encountering a woman with a torn mouth 50.5 13 If you make a mirror at exactly midnight, you can see your face after death in it 41.9 14 At Kokkai-Gijidomae (Japanese parliament building) underground station there is a nuclear shelter 40.2 15 If you go to sleep with a fan running you will die (fan death) 37.8 16 Encountering a dog with a human face 37.1 17 The nursery rhyme “Hana Ichimonme” is a song about slavery 33.1 18 During an advert break of a certain children’s program a problem child was yanked off the set and replaced by a teddy bear 30.0 19 “Kagome Kagome” is a song about a murder 28.2 20 On a particular motorway, in the middle of the night a headless biker can be seen 27.2 21 Freezing CDs will improve the sound quality 25.5 22 Eat a cockroach and it will breed within your stomach 24.1 23 Lemmings run off cliffs if their population gets too large 22.4 24 Electrical items break soon after the guarantee expires 21.1 25 There is a final episode of Sazae san 20.7 26 If you remember the words “Purple Mirror” you will die 14.7 27 If you stare too long at the snow on TVs after broadcasts finish you will die 11.1 28 If you hit a foul ball on the 36th ball in baseball, you will be out 10.7 29 Being kidnapped by a yellow ambulance 10.1 30 In Dragon Quest V you can become friends with Estarc 7.6