Can one simple phrase repel the most tenacious of unwanted house guests in Japan?

Frequent readers of our website may recall the name Takashi Tachibana. As the head of the Protect the Nation from NHK Party, his sole goal in life is the end the menace inflicted on the Japanese people by their public broadcaster, NHK.

In order to get their public funding, NHK outsources a band of ruthless debt collectors to go from home to home, shaking down people regardless of whether they own a television. In addition to threats of legal action should citizens chose not to sign up for a subscription, collectors have been known to engage in sexual harassment and stalking as well.

Tachibana is tireless in his mission to combat these collectors and finding new ways to ward them off and posting advice for those who feel threatened by public television. This time on his regularly updated YouTube channel, Tachibana believes he has the “magic words” that will make an NHK fee collector disappear in a second.

That phrase is:

“Ima oya inainde”

This simple phrase translates to: “My parents aren’t home now.” Saying it implies that you are not the main person of the household and thus not the one to sign a contract for NHK service. It’s similar to the “this isn’t my home” excuse, but superior in that it is your home and if the same collector returns, your web of lies would fall apart.

It also works for everyone since everyone potentially has parents, and even if you’re older it’s not that uncommon in this day and age to still live with the folks.

Netizens were receptive to the idea, but others had some more ballsy suggestions of their own.

“That sounds like it could work.”
“It’s also technically not lying, since even if your parents do live there, they aren’t there now either.”
“If you’re a senior it’s probably better to say ‘I’m not the head of the household.'”
“I recommend, ‘I’m recording you.'”
“There’s no need for fancy tricks. Just tell them, ‘Go home.’ What are they going to do really?”

If you’re a foreigner living in Japan, it’s hard to say whether the “parents aren’t home” trick will work. If you think your Japanese is fluent enough that you can trick them over the intercom, that’s an option, but it’s probably better just to lay low and wait for them to go away. After all, they can’t get money from thin air – believe me, I’ve tried and I just end up looking foolish.

There’s also the official NHK repelling sticker that Tachibana is also giving away to anyone for free. Whatever you do, don’t attempt the “I don’t speak Japanese” routine. Those days have been over for a while and now it’s not uncommon at all for collectors to know enough English or have access to translators of a range of languages.

Source: YouTube/Takashi Tachibana, My Game News Flash
Images: YouTube/Takashi Tachibana