Kaitenzushi Camera


An ingenious non-Japanese patron uses her camera at a kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi) restaurant, catching glimpses of the various Japanese customers and their reactions.

The restaurant in the video is located in Tomakomai, Hokkaido.

An older video from 2006. This one is located in Asakusa, Tokyo.

Via Danny Choo‘s.

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    Comment by イチロ イノ Ichiro Ino
    19:54 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I've read all your comments...

    I figured out that really is a gap between our culture and traditions.

    There are things that are normal to us, but these are considered as TABOO in other places...

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    19:57 04/03/2009 # ! Astronomical

    Remember that taboos like this can be quite different even in one society. I'm sure there are those in your country who would not take kindly to you shoving a camera in their faces...

    Comment by イチロ イノ Ichiro Ino
    21:48 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's true, but not to the extent of shoving it on their faces.
    I've seen local gag shows that take it to the extent of scaring random people at public places then showing it on TV without censoring them.

    I would really hate that when it happens to me, but in the case of this video, it's not for a gag show, and it's just for fun. It's excusable and but not always to be tolerated...

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    I was thinking if you tried it on a mafioso, celebrity or very rich person you would likely be in trouble...

    Comment by Terriblelie
    11:15 05/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    when you say "there are things that are normal to us" do you mean that people do this (camera on sushi conveyor) often in Japan?

    Comment by Bored_Rice
    20:45 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol I'm sure most of you wouldn't be so mad if the girl that did this was less ugly and weaboo looking.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:53 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    LOL at nani kole?

    An original idea, you see a dozen of strangers behaviours...

    Avatar of Toiski
    Comment by Toiski
    00:36 05/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually, he said "Gaijin-san". I find it amusing, that he'd use gaijin (outsider) instead of gaikokujin (foreigner), which is generally disrespectful, but then append "-san"...

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Most Japanese people don't consider either disrespectful.

    Avatar of Quen
    Comment by Quen
    06:16 05/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Appending suffixes to words that may otherwise not be especially formal is a proper way of increasing the formality of the sentence.

    Politeness in Japanese is an extremely convoluted process, and very hard to explain simply...

    Comment by xatm092
    21:40 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I heard the dude who told the woman to put it back on the conveyor belt say "gaijin" (foreigner).

    Typical gaijin.

    Anyway I quite enjoyed that, I've never seen a Japanese sushi bar before so it was very educational.

    And it turns out, the Japanese are real people! I saw some in this vid.

    Avatar of stampede
    Comment by stampede
    21:17 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i appreciate all of the arguments developed herein.

    it's been very interesting reading everyone's reactions. also nice to see artefact raising a gentle fist in defensive anger.

    all i want to say, however, is that this is an incredibly delightful video. in FACT, from a point of view of cinema verite, it is fantastic.

    say whatever you want beyond that. mazel tov. this is a FANTASTIC video and i'm thrilled it exists.

    no need to be anal. all of us will die someday. in the meantime, this is wonderful.

    Avatar of katsuya
    Comment by katsuya
    19:28 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Love how every one asks what is that, as it passes by.
    enjoyed the vids.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:53 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    sushi-vision! now we know wat a sushi's POV is

    @5:24 1st lady: WTH!?
    2nd lady: thats not mine!
    1st lady: looks delish!
    2nd lady: lets put it on rice see if it'll sell!



    Comment by weee
    16:18 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    interesting idea... amazed nobody took the camera snugly sitting at the belt...

    Avatar of kairuu
    Comment by kairuu
    16:05 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i like the 2nd vid better. no one really did anything out of the ordinary regarding the camera.

    1st vid kinda defeats the concept of the idea.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:38 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    this is pretty horrible. can't someone eat their fucking rice-sandwiched-with-fish-of-which-japanese-people-calls-them-sushi in peace? even for a dumb prank this is just plain tasteless.

    Avatar of drastikhate
    Comment by Dee
    18:08 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's Amazing, for 7 minutes, no one off-ed the camera.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:03 06/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    How uptight and how miserable and unsatisfied do you have to be to say "A camera is an invasion of my privacy in a public place and it better not end up on the internet!"

    I guess family reunion pictures and graduation pictures must have the photographer sign a waiver to not post pictures on internet. Or said pictures will have several faces blurred out.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:44 06/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I am totally surprised at the negative reactions of the board members here regarding the privacy issue. Any one of those people, if they had been offended, could easily and simply have tossed a napkin over the camera before it reached them and voided the whole issue. The fact that none of them even attempted to preserve their privacy when they clearly and simply could have done so implies a consent to being filmed.

    It's like being at a wedding. If you see someone taking copious amounts of pictures and you don't want your photo to be taken, you tell the photographer. If you don't inform the photographer, then you have consented to being photographed. No consent form is really required. That's why you see so many wedding film bloopers on TV. Do you really and seriously think the photographer went out and got the consent of EVERY person in the video before submitting it to the TV show?

    Films and photos shot on a street don't have that immediacy of reaction, hence the requirement that the people's faces be blurred. You can't, the moment you see someone a hundred feet (30 meters) away filming you, rush over and block them from taking your picture. That's too much to expect someone to do, hence the courts have repeatedly sided with people who were filmed without their consent.

    And considering the quantity of cameras in Japan, I'm sure this issue has been hashed out already, thus no real invasion of privacy has taken place.

    Now, morally, whether she should have done this is another issue.

    Comment by Furinkan
    21:42 07/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's not that simple, the Japanese aren't into confrontations, and a camera suddenly appearing, aimed at you, is confronting. Who's watching the conveyer belt constantly? There wouldn't be time to throw a napkin over it, and at the same time I imagine noone would want to interfere with it (how do you know it's recording you?).

    Having read all these comments, there's a lot of social subtleties to take into account. As has been said *so* many times already, society has certain expectations. Candid photography in Japan isn't really acceptable, whereas in the US people generally seem cool with it. And don't conflate this with Big Brother and CCTV cameras everywhere, that's not the same thing (though it's related).

    My lawyer friend tells me that here in Australia we don't actually have any real laws that protect against "invasion of privacy" (I haven't grilled him about the specifics). That's not really the issue though, I think the social acceptability is far more important.

    And bloody hell, based on these comments, can't I visit any other country in the world without some bastard stealing my camera if I put it down for five seconds?

    Avatar of Zelgadis4tw
    Comment by Zelgadis4tw
    05:07 17/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's not necessarily that bad, it's just that you shouldn't expect to keep your camera if you do something like this. Keeps the disappointment of having actually been stolen reduced.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:35 05/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I liked the second video a bit more. It seemed the reactions were more along the lines of surprised humor on the most part. It was rather rude of them to do, of course but I don't see how anyone was really hurt by it.

    I could see a lot worse things to get angry over. I can imagine the same act in america would get a lot different reactions, its kind of refreshing to see how a different culture reacts to these sort of events yet still remains distinctly human. The reactions are still normal if different. It shows to me that despite people being different, we are still in the end the same.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:43 08/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    Too much "Privacy" just severs the links between people. If everybody respected the privacy of others and didn't approach or confront others. Then their wouldn't even be something called friends in the world. After all, when you first met them, one of you approached the other and disturbed his "privacy."

    I agree that as long as no harm done, this kind of horse play is fine if not funny.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:32 24/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Truly an xkcd momnet.

    Avatar of LunarSD
    Comment by LunarSD
    15:10 18/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I was so hoping the guy taking a drink from his glass would do a spit-take when his eyes locked with the camera!

    Comment by Necromas
    07:56 05/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    According to the comments on Danny Choo's, they asked the staff first, and the staff announced it to the other customers.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Then how are the reactions genuine? Why don't the kitchen staff know about it?

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:59 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Tom Green did something like this:

    Comment by NekoEcho
    10:59 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Tis a work of art!

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:28 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    if you can get past the first few frames with that fat white sow putting the camera on the plate that is...

    Yeesh white women are so ugly.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Yes, all white people are incredibly ugly, whilst the oriental countenance is never known to sport a blemish.

    Avatar of Zelgadis4tw
    Comment by Zelgadis4tw
    12:30 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Love your flavor of sarcasm Artefact. ;x

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:25 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh, you.

    Avatar of Kip
    Comment by Kip
    11:02 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The first video seems so different from the second, despite being about the same thing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:28 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I remember Tom Green doing the same thing on an old MTV special, only he sent a vibrator on the plate along the conveyor with his camera and a walkie talkie, saying, "I'm a dildo!" into the other walkie talkie

    Avatar of Solarknight
    Comment by Jarmel
    10:31 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It pretty much failed.

    Avatar of maxchain
    Comment by maxchain
    11:37 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Par for the course.

    Avatar of Piroko
    Comment by Piroko
    10:29 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Loved how a majority of people's reactions where, "nani kore?!"

    Though, this video is enough. If becomes another viral thing to do and paste onto Youtube, it'd get pretty annoying.

    Comment by イチロ イノ Ichiro Ino
    Comment by Joe
    10:25 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'd have stolen it

    Comment by Anon
    10:17 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Cripes do white people suck or what? How would they like it if their faces were recorded at a... buffet line(?)

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:40 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm surprised someone didn't take the camera and turn it off before handing it back.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:38 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I love when the kitchen staff take it off the belt and are unsure what to do with it.

    If this was the US, someone would have swiped it. :)

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:41 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol, the waiter was like.. some gaijin set it afloat on the plate.

    Avatar of basilio
    Comment by basilio
    17:44 04/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Haha yah, the kitchen guy/waiter said "gaijin".

    Comment by Kahm
    02:59 05/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think he actually said "gaijin-san" which seems kind of weird, because "gaijin" is supposed to be a rude word, and -san is a polite suffix. Has "Gaijin" changed from a rude contraction when I wasn't looking?

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:03 05/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why do so many belive gajin is a rude word? It just means foreigner nothing negative and the waiter even added -san so he was quite polite..

    Avatar of Quen
    Comment by Quen
    04:07 05/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Gaijin" is a bit lower down on the formality scale than "gaikokujin", but not inherently a bad word by itself.

    On TV news you'd only hear gaikokujin, but gaijin does get used frequently in regular conversation.

    Comment by anon
    03:25 05/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's just a contraction of Gaikokujin, not inherently rude.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    04:58 05/03/2009 # ! Incalculable

    Lately it has been subjected to mild "kotobagari", or word hunting, and is less acceptable to some. These are the same sort of people who insist on writing 子供 as 子ども though...

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