(urth) "There Are Doors" Comes To Japan

James Wynn thewynns at earthlink.net
Mon May 23 04:57:45 PDT 2005

Japanese man gets jail time for 'kidnapping' dolls

May 23, 6:12 AM (ET)

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese man has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years 
in jail for snatching mannequins used by a cake shop chain to tout its 
"Peko-chan," a round-eyed doll around the size of a six-year-old, has been 
used by Fujiya Co. Ltd. to sell sweets for five decades and her grinning 
countenance is a familiar sight in front of shops around Japan.

Recently, however, she has become a favorite of collectors, leading to a 
rash of "Peko-chan" snatchings.

Takeishi Shibuya, 31, was convicted of stealing 15 of the large dolls, 
valued at about 1.1 million yen ($10,170), a court official in Yamagata 
prefecture, northern Japan, said on Monday.

In several cases, Shibuya used pepper spray and spray paint to fend off 
store employees, leading prosecutors to demand a sentence of nine years in 

"But he has reflected on his crimes and feels bad about what he did, so the 
sentence was lighter as a result," the official said.

After a wave of "Peko-chan" disappearances last year, the company suggested 
chaining the dolls down, but customers complained that this would be cruel.

More information about the Urth mailing list