A shocking incident caught on camera upsets and stirs Japanese netizens.

Countries across the globe are beginning to feel the heat as the coronavirus discovered in Wuhan in early December has brought about the largest quarantines recorded in human history, surgical mask shortages worldwide, and most recently, an uptick of discriminatory incidents against those of Chinese as well as Asian descent in Western communities.

While the coronavirus has affected production for certain products in Japan as well as triggered extreme responses from store owners, a new video posted by @yuu22chi and circulating on Japanese Twitter has made users express rage and disbelief.

▼ Content warning: violence and NSFW language


“In a New York subway, an Asian woman wearing a mask was attacked by a Black man shortly after alighting from the platform. Everyone who is traveling should be careful while wearing a mask. In the West [America and Europe] they don’t even wear a mask during hay fever season, so folks will just assume you’re sick.”

In Japan as well as in many parts of Asia, wearing a mask is just common sense when you’re feeling under the weather. It’s also a necessity for lowering your chances of getting sick, and usage of medical masks surge particularly in the spring during hay fever season.

However, for those growing up in the West, medical masks are more associated with medical professionals and hazardous environments such as lab facilities where researchers may be handling strains of lethal diseases. Some individuals even believe that wearing a mask indicates you have symptoms of illness rather than acting as a preventive measure against sickness.

Users were split on Twitter, responding to the video with shock and skepticism.

“For those traveling to the United States or Europe, be careful!”

“This is the true darkness of America.”

“It’s tragic but maybe it’s better safety-wise for Asian folks to only go out when necessary.”

“I wonder what the person recording this video was attempting to record in the first place? It’s as if they knew something like this was going to happen.”

“Even though I think this might have been a set-up, it’s the current reality that overseas people associate Asians with the new coronavirus.”

▼ A few Twitter users even cited racism as another motive: “The attack could’ve been due to envy toward Asians, who generally have better jobs and income.”


However, to dispel such hot takes and alleviate concerns about the video’s authenticity, the original poster provided an explanation for the context of the situation. Apparently an altercation had already occurred between the assaulter and the victim in the subway’s stairwell prior to the recording.

▼ Read the full explanation here.


Currently, the New York Police Department has requested that the victim come forward and has asked the public’s help in identifying the perpetrator.

Until then, we can only hope that in the future, as more countries are red-listed for travel, a medical solution can soon be found for the coronavirus.

Source: Twitter/@yuu22chi
Top image: Pakutaso
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