Tells police odd mix of courtesy and violence was “the only way” to settle their differences.

On the morning of March 13, two sanitation department employees in Toyono, a town in Osaka Prefecture, hopped into their truck and set out to collect the neighborhood’s garbage. Behind the wheel was a 46-year-old man, the higher-ranking employee out of the pair, and sitting next to him was his 50-something coworker.

Unfortunately, the driver had earned himself a bit of a reputation in the department for excessive speeding while behind the wheel, and this morning was no different. The passenger warned his coworker that he was driving too fast, and also that the pickup route he was taking was different from the one they should be following, but the driver didn’t want to hear it. The debate turned into an argument, with the driver asking permission from his superiors to leave work early, which was granted, and so the older employee went on to finish the rest of the route alone.

However, instead of heading home to relax, hitting a local bar for a few afternoon beers, or indulging in any of the other myriad ways to enjoy a half-day off, the younger man went to a store and purchased two kitchen knives. Then he went back to work and waited in the parking lot until his older coworker returned from his route. When he pulled up in his truck, the younger employee threw the bag containing the knives down on the ground and shouted “Get out of the truck, and take whichever knife you want!”

Providing weaponry for his intended adversary, and brand-new weaponry at that, was a thoughtful touch, as there really are people in this world who’re so selfish as to think only of themselves when procuring bladed instruments of attack. However, the older, wiser, and considerably more sane employee declined the offer, and instead the police were contacted, formally indicting the younger employee on charges of violating the Sword and Firearms Control Law. Upon questioning, the younger man explained his actions with “I felt like [the older employee] was belittling my experience,” and “We weren’t getting anywhere with words, so I figured the only way for us to settle the score was with a duel.”

▼ This is a good time to remember that there are several options between “talking” and “knife duel,” including even “fist fight” if you absolutely feel the need for violence.

Though Japan still holds samurai virtues such as honor and stoicism in high regard, in modern times the country has largely soured on the practice of dueling with blades as a means to reconcile differences of opinion. In addition to the criminal charges he faces, the would-be duelist has been suspended from work for six months, and you have to imagine it’s going to be very difficult to find anyone willing to ride with him when he comes back.

Sources: Kyoto Shimbun via Hachima Kiko, Sankei News West, NHK News Web
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s wondering what sort of conduct can actually get you fired from Toyono’s sanitation department.