B21 Night Moving
Show Notes for bonus episode 21 of our Podcast – Night Moving.
This was a strange things I came across in my feed one day, and I knew it was something that was worth talking about on our show.
In Chiba, you can find a man by the name of Naoki Iwabuchi. He works in what looks like a very normal office, dressed as most people in Japan do when they work, in a black suit.
But his job is not like most others. His job is to cater to Night Moving, known in Japan as ‘yonigeya‘. The act of helping people disappear.
There is a term in Japan for those who have dispeared in the country, this bring ‘jouhatsu-sha‘ or in English ‘evaporated people,’ which is quite a poetic term for them. Now many people in Japan do chose to disapear due to problems such as debt but there are some who need to flee from domestic violence or even stalking and so turn to those who can help them in disappearing. And so those specialised in Night Moving are called upon.
It is by no means an easy job, and so Naoki states he carries with him a special briefcase which can fold out into a shield covered in a layer of armour. And additionally he always carried with him a baton-like device for extra added protection.
Naoki always finds himself assuming the worst will happen, as there is no knowing how each job will play out. He states there is never a day that goes by without some form of trouble.
As for his clientele, 90% of them are women, 10% men. And he has seen over the last 16 years of his work that he has had more and more cases of women subjected to domestic abuse and in need of Night Moving. In addition, he has seen it increase even more since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The service however does come with a price. Unfortunately it is not something Naoki can offer for free due to the risks involved and that amount of planning that it can require. Difficult cases may also need additional help from people disguised as window washers or tatami salesmen waiting close by in the area. And due to this the costs can range from $2000 to $20,000.
Those that can disappear can often find it easy to remain hidden in Japan and even hide in plainsight. This being due to it being normal to wear a mask in Japan and in the fact that if you use an ATM without the transaction being flagged as used by a missing person. Privacy is very highly valused in Japan.
The police will not even become involved unless something else such as a crime or an accident occours.
Header Image: Fantasy Light from Pixabay.
- A sharply dressed Japanese man with a ‘self-defense briefcase’ has made a living in ‘night moving’ — helping battered women disappear without a trace.
You can listen to the full episode over on Anchor here: Japan Archives, or wherever you listen to Podcasts.
Be sure to check out Heather’s blog on lifes little adventures here: HeatherOverYonder.
We also started a Youtube channel for other creative endeavours!