Japanese people go crazy for Ghosn’s bad disguise.

After 108 days in custody at a Tokyo detention centre, former Nissan head Carlos Ghosn left jail yesterday, released on 1 billion yen (US$9 million) bail, one of the highest ever recorded in the country.

As the world’s media waited outside the detention centre to catch a glimpse of Ghosn leaving the building, photographers were poised to spot the 64-year-old Frenchman, whom many speculated would leave in a suit or smart casual outfit, and perhaps be picked up in a Nissan vehicle.

So when a silver-coloured Suzuki light van with a stepladder on the roof pulled up at the front of the building and a driver in a beige workman’s uniform jumped out, it might have gone unnoticed by the press, were it not for what happened next. Because striding out from the doors of the detention house came eight policeman, with one man in a pale-coloured cap in between them all, and as photographers zoomed in on the group, it became clear that this man was Ghosn.

▼ One of these things is not like the others…

Dressed in a navy workman’s outfit, with a mask, orange high-vis straps, and a pale blue cap, the once highly respected CEO shocked everyone with his decision to leave jail disguised as a labourer. And in Japan, where people love to cosplay, Ghosn’s outfit quickly became the talk of the town, with people immediately taking to Twitter to discuss what they’d seen online.

▼ “Ghosn’s disguise made me think of Baikinman from the Anpanman kids’ anime!”


▼ “Ghosn’s disguise is as weak as Baikinman’s.”

“His disguise is as crappy as Golgo 13’s from the Golgo 13 manga.”


“Was this the look you were going for, Ghosn?”

“Ghosn’s flawless disguise.”

▼ The news also inspired some of the nation’s illustrators to take out their sketchbooks.

▼ Ghosn joins the Power Rangers.

And as Ghosn’s silver van whisked him away from the detention center, it brought another famous movie scene to mind.


Ever since Ghosn appeared in a photo lineup next to Mr Bean in a Japanese exam question that asked students to identify the former Nissan CEO, people have been likening Ghosn to the British comedy character.


▼ Ghosn’s real mood as the van drove away?

Today, Japanese media was largely focussed on Ghosn’s workman attire, analysing each item of clothing he wore and discussing the motives behind the disguise, which was said to have been devised by his legal team.

The cunning plan injected some humour into Ghosn’s long-awaited release and diverted attention away from Japan’s widely criticised legal system, where bail is rare and the conviction rate in court cases is more than 99 percent.

Now, just-released-on-bail-workman cosplay looks set to be this year’s Halloween costume of the year, and Twitter has found a set on Amazon for 5,584 yen (US$49.98) that would be perfect for the occasion.

And if you want to know where he got his cap, it was from Nihon Denso, an electrical company that works on Japan’s railways.

Ghosn could’ve worn any type of cap with his disguise, so the fact that he chose to wear a Nihon Denso cap upon his release is a tantalising bit of information. Did the company help to secure his release? Does he now owe the company a favour? Is he trying the outfit on for size for a future job on the railways?

We may never know the answer to these intriguing questions, but we do know that his bail comes shortly after Ghosn made changes to his legal team last month, when he hired former prosecutor Junichiro Hironaka – known as “the acquitter” for his ability to win not-guilty verdicts for high-profile clients – to work on his case.

The same Tokyo District Court that denied Ghosn bail on two previous occasions granted his bail on 5 March with the acquitter on board, and now the world waits to see the outcome of the trial, which is set to begin this autumn.

Source: Twitter/#ゴーン変装
Featured image: Twitter/@estimind7735
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