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Shouting fire instead of help 2017/3/9 17:19
I grew up in the US. We were always told that if we were being mugged, assaulted, etc to NOT shout "help" and instead shout "fire." The reason being no one wants to put themselves in a dangerous situation.

I was mugged, shouted "fire," and people came running. They called the police once they saw me being mugged and the attacker ran away. However, they all said they only came because they wanted to see the fire and call the police.

I studied abroad in Italy and was told the same - don't shout "help" and instead shout "fire."

I now live in Japan and am wondering if it's the same here?

I've been here for a while now. I've seen women harassed, men mugged, etc. They never asked for help, but it was so blatant I thought SOMEONE would say or do something. No one did. They all turned a blind eye.

If I was really getting mugged or assaulted, what would be the best thing to shout?

I know Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, but crime happens everywhere. I was assaulted in my own doorway by a salesman. It was just me, so I fought him off and called the police. What if it had happened while I was out though, what should I shout?
by The Marble Ryes (guest)  

Re: Shouting fire instead of help 2017/3/9 18:40

Just shout "fire". Hopefully it works, and people come to the rescue.
by * (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Shouting fire instead of help 2017/3/9 19:21
The same theory exists in Japan too. But if you ask me, I think the biggest problem with "help" is that you won't know whether you need help because of a crime or because you're just fooling around with your friend. So here are some useful shouts:

Help! - Tasukete!

Call the police! - Keisatsu yonde!

Thief! - Dorobou!
(In fact, this is one of the most common crime shouts we here in TV shows)

Fire! - Kajida!

[Just scream, which is the universal language]
(In fact, this is what I did, because under those circumstances that's really all you can do. You're too shocked to shout our words that make sense. And it worked.)

[Carry a security alarm or security whisle]
(In fact, this is what I do, because I realized that under those circumstances it's even difficult to scream or shout at all.)

And yet, the word "help (tasukete)" is still helpful when you're locked under debris in case of a great earthquake.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Shouting fire instead of help 2017/3/10 04:33
I have lived in both US and Japan, but never heard of shouting "fire" instead of "help."

If you feel vulnerable, carry a mace.

Screaming first is the best and natural (who has the time to think what is the Japanese word for help?). For women, another word to learn is "chikan", which roughly means pervert, in case you are touched inappropriately.
by Nora Neko (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Shouting fire instead of help 2017/3/10 19:12

The line of helpers will be around the block.
by HP (guest) rate this post as useful

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