Home > Focus on Japan 2005 > The Kerosene Sellers Are Back

The Kerosene Sellers Are Back

October 22nd, 2005

Crap. It had to happen sometime, with winter not too far off. Already I’ve got a headache with the new Yaki-imo (hot sweet-potato) seller, who has a new loudspeaker on his truck and blares away at volumes deafening even by politicians’ standards, stopping for three minutes right outside my window every time he comes by. No one buys from him, but he comes always nonetheless.

But the kerosene seller, while projecting less volume, is even more annoying. The tune the truck plays is a god-awful, mind-numbing abomination of single-electronic-note “musical” dreck. But what makes it worse is the winding path it takes; while the yaki-imo seller passes through with only one stop, the kerosene truck drives at walking speed through every last driveway in the entire complex. Worse, people buy from the truck, which then stops for a few minutes, never turning off the tune. It can be a half hour before the truck is gone, and even then you can’t be sure–it seems to have left at times, but really it was behind a building and the noise was only temporarily blocked, and then it comes back out again.

At the very least, why can’t these people choose some sound that isn’t so jarringly, stupefyingly odious? How about some nice shamisen music? Something like that, which makes a nice background sound, and is easily heard and distinguished? Why do these loudspeaker trucks have to use the worst possible music–as if blaring noise all the time itself isn’t bad enough?

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  1. ykw
    October 23rd, 2005 at 03:50 | #1

    If you call the police, and complain about a disturbance, do they tell the fellow to turn it down?

    In the usa, anyone that complains of too much noise typically gets that kind of response.

  2. windy
    October 25th, 2005 at 08:18 | #2

    I don’t know what you’re complaining about, it’s kind of soothing, like a lullabye :p

  3. Spooner
    October 25th, 2005 at 19:55 | #3

    I’m guessing that they use music which is cheap to buy and has no licensing issues.

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