Perhaps one of the saddest things ever written is Hemingway’s famous six-word story: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Though short in the extreme, it’s amazing how much emotion and information can be packed into six small words. Of course, Hemingway isn’t the only writer known for brevity, and the last 1,300 years of Japanese poetry have been full of brief but beautiful and poignant verses. But when it comes to terse (some might say inelegant) narrative, Hemingway was certainly a master.

However, we may have found someone who’s outdone the old drunkard! Too bad this one seems inspired by utterly real events…


According to the message tweeted with the picture above, a Twitter user got the bill pictured above when collecting his change at Akabae Station in Tokyo. It’s a bit hard to see, but if you look closely at the top, you can make out a handwritten message. If you’re waiting on your updated glasses prescription, we’ve blown up the message CSI style.


This is your last 1,000 yen. Please quit pachinko.

If you’re not on the verge of tears right now, it may be because you’re not familiar with pachinko. While gambling is largely illegal in Japan, there are numerous gray areas like dog, horse, and boat racing, as well as mahjongPachinko, which is basically a combination of slots and pinball, is legal and technically isn’t gambling, since you don’t get money for winning. Instead, you get little steel balls that can be traded for prizes. Then, those prizes can be traded for money just outside of the pachinko parlor. See, it’s not gambling at all!

Regardless  of the legality or nature of the game, there’s no denying that, like slots, the game is addictive, and it’s no strange sight to see long lines of eager patrons waiting for parlors to open in the morning.

Though we don’t know who wrote the message across this 1,000 yen note, we do know that we’re going to go in the bathroom and have a good cry now.

▼ A pachinko machine in action


Japanese netizens weren’t particularly sympathetic though:

What the hell did you do with such important money!?

Gambling is stupid.

I want to write “LOL,” but this is really horrible. How many lives have been ruined by this stupid ball-tossing game?

This is the fate of pachinko players.

Stop writing graffiti on money! It’s illegal!

That’s what you’re worried about?? Geez, have a heart!

While we don’t know how this story ended, we can always hope that there was some happy news we’re missing out on. We’re just glad we have pictures of a kitten being weighed on a scale to cheer us up. Finally, if you or someone you know has a gambling addiction, we would strongly encourage you to seek help.

Source: Hachima Kikou
Images: Hachima Kikou, Wikipedia