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More Bizarre Tales of the Men in Black in Japan

One phenomenon that seems to be inextricably linked to UFOs is the enigmatic Men in Black. Wherever UFO sightings and accounts go, these shadowy figures seem to be always lurking somewhere in the background, and it is not even a facet of this field that is confined to the West. Indeed, the Men in Black seem to know no borders, and have shown up in a surprising number of far-flung places, showing that this is a mystery that goes beyond any particular certain set of social or cultural mores. Not too long ago I wrote an article here at Mysterious Universe detailing possible encounters with the Men in Black in Japan, and since then I have been approached with various other such tales that it seems about time I compile a few of them into another article. So here we delve once more into the very mysterious, very strange world of the Men in Black in Japan.

One source that has come forward to provide me with a wealth of fascinating encounters is a Japanese UFO blogger who shall remain anonymous, I’ll call him “Taro,” and who came forward after seeing my article on the matter with an array of tales, some of the weirder of which I will share here. Taro told me of one case of another blogger who had been releasing some very clear photos of a UFO sighting and was immediately bombarded by anonymous comments demanding that the pictures be taken down. There was never any identification of the commenter, and the messages seemed to come under different screen names with different IP addresses. In every instance, the blogger refused the demands, even after being met with legal threats that seemed to be purely empty bluffs.

This blogger, who we will call “Kenji,” apparently began receiving more and more of these escalatingly ominous comments, to the point where he closed the comments section down and thought that would be the end of it, yet things would just get even odder. One night, Kenji claims that he was out having a drink alone at a local izakaya, which is a kind of drinking establishment popular in Japan where one can order drinks and various food items in a casual atmosphere. Kenji was sitting in a zashiki area, meaning a tatami sitting room where one sits on the floor at a low table, with other tables laid out nearby. The clientele of this particular izakaya was typically business men and university students, but on this evening a rather strange group of individuals would come in to sit at the next table over from Kenji.

According to the witness there were three of them, all men and all of them taller than the typical Japanese, with long, lanky limbs and very long fingers. They were wearing very dark grey, almost black suits which seemed to fit awkwardly and sort of hang off of their thin frames, perhaps too big for them, and their neckties seemed to be crooked and askew. Indeed their general appearance seemed to be somewhat disheveled. When they were seated Kenji could see that they were all strikingly pale, with features that did not seem to be totally Japanese. Indeed, he described them as looking like what Japanese call “half” (ハーフ), a word used to denote those of mixed ancestry, and they seemed to have a mix of Japanese and perhaps European features, although Kenji says they had a sort of Middle Eastern appearance to them as well. All of them had smooth skin that was extremely pale, almost translucent, to the point where it made them look rather sickly.

This group sat down and ordered their drinks, and it was noted that they spoke Japanese with a noticeable accent of some kind, although Kenji could not quite place what it might be. Amongst themselves they seemed to not talk at all, rather just sitting there looking quite run-down and exhausted. Kenji found he could scarcely keep from looking over at them, so conspicuous were they, and he explained that their movements were rather strange as well. He would say (translated as best I can from the Japanese):

They moved in a weird way. I can’t quite explain it. When they moved it was sort of insect-like. Does that make any sense? I can’t really explain why I had that impression, but that’s what their movements reminded me of, insects. It was not strange enough to attract so much suspicion from others I guess, but when they moved and looked about I had that very stubborn impression that it all seemed very insectoid to me.

The group ordered their drinks but did not seem to really touch them as they sat in silence, even as others in the tatami room drank and talked boisterously. One of them stirred the drink with his finger only to withdraw it and stare at it. Another took a sip but seemed to grimace at the taste, after which he did not take another. At one point one of them fumbled with what seemed to be a smartphone, but did not seem to be able to operate it well and dropped it to the table to leave it lie. By this time Kenji was getting the feeling that he was not the only one stealing looks in their direction, but that they were taking peeks at him as well. It was a very heavy feeling of being watched by them, although whenever he looked their way they seemed to be ignoring him.

All of this was starting to make Kenji uneasy, and he was thinking that perhaps he would ask for the bill, when the one sitting closest to him turned to make conversation by mentioning how cold it had been that day, which was odd considering that this was summer and it had actually been a rather hot day. Keji just nodded and went along with it, noticing that indeed the man had that odd, unidentifiable accent. The stranger then asked him what he did for a living, to which Kenji replied that he was a blogger. The stranger asked what kind of blog, and perhaps unwisely Kenji told them the truth, that he wrote about unexplained phenomena and UFOs, and the stranger allegedly bluntly replied “probably not a lot of money in that, eh?” Kenji ignored it, asked them what they did, and the man said “We’re just on business, passing through.” During this whole exchange the other two looked on with blank expressions on their faces, not drinking and not doing much of anything except staring and occasionally fidgeting with their unused chopsticks in that weird insect way. One of them had begun to incessantly rap a finger against his glass to issue an off-kilter clinking.

The whole thing was unnerving enough that Kenji decided it was better to get going. He had started to get an inexplicable sense of dread from this group of odd strangers, although he could not really understand why they should feel so threatening. It was just a feeling, but a pervasive one that was ever creeping up on him. As Kenji got up to leave, the man offered to buy him a drink and urged him to stay there rather than go home and write more “UFO stuff,” to which the whole table sort of let out a disturbing chuckle. Kenji would say:

They really did not want me to leave. They said we should all chat and that they would buy me some drinks. The main guy joked that I was just going to write about UFOs at home anyway, so I might as well stay out and unwind. Then they all laughed in a way that, well, it sounded like they were just faking a laugh, like they didn’t even really understand what a laugh was. It also sounded fairly threatening, It all had a very disturbing effect on me. I got the worst feeling from that group.

Interestingly, as Kenji was paying his bill at the cash register at the front of the izakaya, he noticed that the group of strangers was also getting up to leave, their drinks still full to the brim. He hastily got out of there and onto his train home, all the time looking around expecting them to be following him or riding the train with him. In this case he seemed to be alone, and it is unclear if he received any other visits from these people. I am not even sure if he ended up taking those UFO photos down after all.

Taro relates another tale of a Japanese author on UFOs who had his own experience with the Men in Black, this time at a hot spring resort. The witness in this case, let’s call him “Hideo,” was taking a vacation at one of the many hot springs resorts found throughout Japan, and had just entered one of the hot springs rooms for a relaxing bath. It was rather late in the evening and he was practically the only one there. As he sat down in the steaming water to relax for a soak, a pair of men entered who looked somewhat Asian, but also somewhat foreign. Hideo assumed that they were not Japanese, as they came into the hot springs wearing towels around their waists, when the Japanese tend to go in completely nude, regardless of how many other people may be using the bath. Both of the men were described as being surprisingly thin and looking almost malnourished, with their ribs clearly jutting out from alabaster pale skin.

Although there were other open baths around the room with no one in them, this pair of strangers chose to enter the one that Hideo was in, which was not a breach of any etiquette but still somewhat annoying nonetheless. This would soon turn to surprise when Hideo fleetingly noticed something very bizarre as one of the men entered the bath. Although he only had a momentary glimpse, he claims that as one of the men removed his towel to quickly sink into the bath, he very briefly could see that it appeared the man had no discernible genitalia, but rather just smooth skin where they should have been. The other man’s couldn’t be seen, as he entered the bath with the towel still attached and then removed his soaking wet towel after getting in to set it down next to the bath with a wet smack, which was a very strange way of entering a hot spring in Japan.

Startled by what he thought he had seen, Hideo was struggling to rationalize it in his mind, thinking he must have just been imagining things. The two men then laid back for a moment and Hideo would make the observation that they both looked rather old, yet young at the same time, an impression which even he was at a loss to adequately explain, especially as their complexions seemed to be totally smooth and free of wrinkles. At this point they had not said a single word to each other. After a few minutes of awkwardness, one of the men looked to Hideo and smiled a crooked smile before trying to make small talk, which quickly took a turn for the sinister.

According to the witness, the stranger at one point suddenly proclaimed “You are an author, aren’t you? I know your work. You write about UFOs, do you not?” It was a sudden thing to say, and jarring considering that Hideo was not particularly well-known and there seemed to be no way anyone could have known who he was just by looking at him, in addition to the fact that it seemed rather beyond coincidence that anyone who would know who he was would be sitting in a hot spring bath with him at that moment. The other man in the meantime was apparently just sitting there spacing out, seemingly uncomfortable to be there. Hideo felt a strong sense of jeopardy at that point, even though the stranger had done nothing particularly intimidating yet other than that brief glimpse of a perfectly smooth pubic region, but it was enough that Hideo felt it was in his best interest to get out of there. He excused himself and exited the bath, and the next morning at the resort’s breakfast he had an eye out for the two men but could not see them anywhere.

In yet another case, Taro himself says he was apparently stalked by a man in black. He claims that on many occasions he found himself in close proximity to a man wearing a crumpled black suit and a black fedora-style hat who seemed to be coughing uncontrollably all of the time. The first time was when Taro was waiting for a train and noticed this man standing next to him in line. The man was described as being somewhat pale and wearing an oversized, ill-fitting black suit with tie askew, and was coughing to the point of being unable to breathe at times. When they entered the train the man stood near him and continued that persistent, never-ending cough until he finally got off the train. It was not really so strange at the time but enough that the man would stick out in Taro’s mind.

After this initial incident, Taro claims that he would often run into the strange, coughing man, always wearing that same suit and crooked tie and always in a fit of coughing and sometimes laughing to himself about something. All over Tokyo the man would seem to be waiting at bus stops, at train stations, in bookstores, and in department stores. In a city as big and bustling as Tokyo it seemed to be beyond coincidence that this man should keep appearing nearby, and Taro began to fear for his life. Yet at no point did the man approach him or try and talk to him. He would merely be there, always close, laughing and wheezing away. Taro would say:

It may not seem like a lot to go on, but he was a pretty conspicuous guy. That suit, that incessant coughing. There was no doubt that it was him, and he appeared all over the place. I seemed to always be running into that guy. I can’t believe it is all coincidence. He wanted something.

Weirdly, the strange encounters would stop as soon as Taro stopped mentioning a certain series of UFO sightings on his blog. It is uncertain if this would just be coincidence or if there was something more at play here. Was that coughing stranger orchestrating his appearances to subconsciously worm his way into Taro’s mind and intimidate him? Is this all delusional imaginings? It is hard to know for sure. In all of these cases there are perhaps possible rational explanations, but every one of them holds some palpable air of the ominous. Are these the Men in Black in Japan? Are they stalking these people for some inscrutable purpose? Is this just misunderstanding or perhaps some exaggeration? One can only imagine and speculate. However, if these are truly case of the Men in Black, then it shows that this is a phenomenon that transcends cultural and physical borders to lodge itself very deeply into the realm of UFOs.

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  • American Hawkman

    It’s interesting to me that so many of these cases seem to involve the figure in question being vaguely puzzled by foodstuffs or trying to get the person targeted to eat and drink something. Reminds me of the old stories about eating and drinking when encountered by the Fair Folk and what the consequences of that are….

  • BW

    It would be interesting to see the photos that were on the blogger’s website.

  • diggergig

    Inscrutable.

  • Ghostdanser

    I’m curious to know when the earliest Men in Black reports started in Japan. Were they around the same time as the United States, or was it later after some English works had been translated. Not saying this isn’t a legitimate phenomenon, but is this a case of perceptions changing to fit expectations…in old times we saw fairies, modern times Men In Black…probably wording this poorly, but what I mean is were the Japanese perceiving something else before they expected to see Men in Black due to (for lack of a better term) cultural contamination from the West, at which time they started to perceive MiB’s. Or was it about the same time as the West, in which case did the (again for lack of a better term) entity change tactics in both locations simultaneously (or close to it) to suit it’s own agenda.

  • mph23

    I live in a small big city (Albuquerque, NM, USA); and often run into the same weirdos* day in and day out…They’re just the people who live and/or work near where you live and work. No reason to be paranoid. Yet.

    *I don’t mean that as a bad thing.

  • Brent Swancer

    I’m a bit worried about that myself.

  • Brent Swancer

    I’m actually not exactly sure when the phenomena of the Men in Black started over here in Japan. The reports I have covered are anecdotes relayed to me by varied sources such as those who have contacted me or those I know in the field.

    However, from what I understand it all started here not long after it started in the West, if not at around the same time. Now one could argue that this is the result of being influenced by the perceptions and lore of the West, “cultural contamination” as you put it. It could also have been an evolution from other folklore, as Japan is absolutely crawling with phantoms and boogiemen in their mythology that could be seen as similar to the Men in Black. This would be like your analogy of the fairies of old. Maybe these entities take different forms over the centuries, who knows?

    This is all plausible. Or maybe that was just just when they started operating, whatever they are.

    Spooky stuff no matter what the origin, and so bizarre, and with details so all over the place that it is sometimes hard to know just what to make of the Men in Black or what they want, no matter where they appear. If they are real, then I suppose that this could all be by design, to make themselves so surreal, insane, and otherworldly that no one would possibly believe any of it. Men in Black reports often cross over into the absurd, to such an extent that the one reporting sounds crazy or delusional. Maybe that’s the way they want it.

  • J.Griffin

    Please keep us informed about that….
    🕴🏻

  • Dr. Victor Frankenstein

    So “Kenji”, a UFO blogger (!), spent all this time on a table next to some strange-looking creatures with insect-like movements without taking any (furtive) pictures, or recording a video of them?

  • Brent Swancer

    I am not sure about what it’s like where you’re from, but it is not typically considered to be good manners to whip out a camera or a smartphone and take pictures of strangers in crowded places in Japan. And by law here all photographic equipment makes a sound when it takes a shot. That’s because we had such a problem with perverts here taking “furtive” pictures up schoolgirl skirts on trains here. So there is no way to take a covert picture in this scenario that I can think of.

    But let’s say that he did disregard manners and did not mind that he was alone and taking pictures of three strangers and did not mind that it might lead to getting his a** kicked. What do you think those pictures would really show?

    I’m not sure a picture of picture of three tall, lanky, pale, funny looking guys in oversized black suits would exactly the definitive, concrete photographic evidence of the men in black that you seem to think it would be. If that were the case then just take a picture of me in a suit and be done with it.

    Even a video wouldn’t really do because like he said it was just enough to be weird but not draw undue attention. Do you think that people would take a video of some people in oversized suits acting weird as evidence of the men in black? He would probably be laughed off his blog.

    That’s the thing with pics of the men in black. These are not Bigfoot or Nessie or something obviously inhuman. Take a picture and you have a photo of a weirdo in a black suit. Nothing more.

  • lili

    Don’t worry, I never heard it was the case, and I never heard they harm someone. That’s very strange.

  • Dr. Victor Frankenstein

    “it is not typically considered to be good manners to whip out a camera or a smartphone and take pictures”

    Under such extraordinary circumstances my scientific curiosity and need to document the scene would overrule any “good manners”.

    Is it practically possible? Of course. Modern smartphones have the camera at their back and whenever I do something on my phone, the camera naturally points in my view of direction. The clicking noise would probably not be audible in a crowded restaurant, and if absolutely necessary, I would drop a piece of cutlery at the same time to mask the noise. And if I record a video then the process would not make any sounds.

    To get good, high-resolution pictures of such creatures would be of substantial interest to a lot of people.

    Anyway, great article, Brent. Keep up the good work!

  • Eric John

    Intriguing article, thank you. I would be interested to know if the two posts in their respective blogs had any commonalities. For example, were both crafts of the same variety? Or did the dates coincide at all with each bloger’s post? Or…?

  • Harry Miller

    Don’t bet money that they are harmless. Remember, we only ever hear about the cases where they act a little strange and make some threats. With one or two exceptions, we never hear the stories where they attempt to or actually do carry out their threats.

  • lili

    But why they would carry out some threats and not the other ones, when the threatened persons won’t stop.

  • Harry Miller

    I think it’s a case per case basis. There have been reports of people disappearing without a trace after ignoring the threats of the MIBs. Some cases or individuals may be more dangerous than others. Or maybe what they saw combined with credibility and whatever evidence the person may have gathered about the incident that lead to the encounter with the MIBs could have blown the lid off of something. Others, like what we mostly see in reports/stories possibly don’t matter much to them.

    There is a case of a doctor back in the 70’s that said he had very clear photos and video of a ufo landing. A day or so after advertising that he had them, he got a visit from the MIBs. At the end of the visit, one told the doctor to pull a coin out of his pocket. The doctor did so then watched as the coin lifted from his hand, spun, and then disappeared. The MIBs informed the doctor that unless he burned all of his material relating to that ufo, his heart would disappear in the similar manner. The doctor, being so unnerved by the visit made a bonfire out of his material.

    There have been several reports about people that have ignored the warnings, made their story public, then disappeared without a trace. Family and friends find the missing person home/apartment/office ransacked with nothing but the ufo material missing. So we really don’t have any idea how often threats are carried out against those the MIBs deem a hazard.