A novel idea for people who have something they want to get off their chest.

Some people who’ve gone to a convention or festival in Japan over the past four years or so, or even just wandered the streets of Tokyo, might have noticed a woman dressed like a construction worker dragging what looks like a black guard shack with “Himitsuya” (“Secret shop”) written on it.

This woman is Ribeka Kimura, an artist who began dealing in secrets in 2017. Customers to the secret shop need only jot down their deepest darkest secrets, things they would never tell another living soul, and hand it over to Kimura. Kimura then pours concrete over the secret, often in fun and unique designs, and sells them at a price of the customer’s choosing.

The notes are anonymous, so even if a buyer decides to jackhammer away the casing, chances are no harm would come of it. However, the simple act of letting a secret out has proven to be a liberating act to those who have taken the plunge.

For buyers too there is an interesting sense of power to holding not only a piece of art, but something that contains information which could greatly affect someone’s life. Prices can vary widely, however, from one yen (less than 1 U.S. cent) to 5 quadrillion yen ($45 trillion).

However, as with most good things, Himitsuya’s event-based business has been stifled by the recent pandemic. Luckily the ground work for an online variation of it began around 2019 with a Twitter account. Even now people’s deepest secrets are posted every few days for the world to see.

“I don’t invite friends and lovers to my home. It’s because, it’s messy.”

Other revelations from Himitsuya include:

“I want to divorce my wife right away, but I think I need to be patient and wait until the kids are grown up. However, in waiting I feel like my life is slipping away bit by bit. What is the right thing to do?”

“When I go to bed, I worry about whether robbers will break in, ghosts will appear, or the world will end and I can’t sleep.”

“Since both my parents are toxic, I seriously hope they get COVID-19 and die soon.”

“I bought cute underwear.”

“This summer I had an affair. I want to do it again.”

“I can’t eat with people. When I sit face-to-face with someone I don’t know what to say and the taste of the food disappears. I feel I’m disgusting when I eat, I’m repulsed by the other person while they eat, and my heart starts to palpitate. Going out to dinner is hell. If I eat alone I don’t have to worry about anything. Recently I try to never talk about food with anyone.”

“I think it’s been five years now, but I’ve been keeping my cut nails. The amount doesn’t seem to increase any more though, and I’m worried that something is going on at the bottom of the pile.”

Kimura also set up an online shop where cement-bound secrets continue to be sold as well as a kit for people to submit their own secrets remotely by mail for Kimura to do her magic with. However, if you want to cut to the chase and skip all the literal foundation work, the Himitsuya website will also accept anonymous secrets that are then posted on the website or its Twitter account.

▼ I’m not sure if she accepts English secrets, but I don’t see why she wouldn’t.

As luck would have it, it seems that this shift to online has helped spread awareness of Himitsuya and the psuedo-business has been doing well as a result. However, Kimura told Yorozoo News in an interview that she would still like to get back out on the streets and festival circuits to interact with people like before.

Hopefully she’ll make it to my neck of the woods soon so I can finally let out this secret I’ve carried for years now… I know the true flavor of Pepsi Ghost.

Source: Himitsuya, Marchel (Online shop), Twitter/@himitsu_yasan, Yorozoo News
Top image: YouTube/Ribeka Kimura
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