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OK, there is some debate among ourselves, but I am officially classifying the theft of Peko-chan statues as a trend.

Why? I state my case:

So what’s the big deal with these over-sized bobble-head dolls anyway? It could be the era that they represent. The Peko-chan dolls are set up at the front of Fujiya sweets shops, and as Mari of Watashi to Tokyo wrote in 2005, Fujiya pastries hold a lot of nostalgic value to those who came of age in the Showa Era. These are now the people with the most disposable income in Japan. Add to that a hearty collector culture and online auction sites and it’s easy to see how some unscrupulous thief may want to make a quick – and substantial – wad of yen (these dolls were going for up to ¥200,000).

At any rate, you have to pity the fools who are going to jail over these dolls. Can you imagine this yakuza tough-guy standing in the yard of the prison?

“What you in for?” ask the tatooed, bench-pressing criminals around him.

“Uh . . . kidnapping?”

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