Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear flashy vests.

On 15 April, a sudden attack on the Prime Minister of Japan occurred at Saigasaki Port in Wakayama City. As Fumio Kishida walked out in front of a group of people to deliver a speech in support of a candidate in a local election, a type of pipe bomb was tossed at him from the crowd.

Although the attack had some eerie similarities to last year’s assassination of former PM Shinzo Abe, Kishida was luckily able to escape unharmed while the attacker was swiftly apprehended by security personnel. However, even faster than the bodyguards was a pair of brave fishermen who just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

▼ News footage of the incident

One of the fishermen, 67-year-old Masami Terai, was watching Kishida as he was about to take the podium when he saw a man attempting to light something in his hands and throw it. At the same time, another unidentified 70-year-old fisherman shouted “This guy!” to alert security and jumped on the 24-year-old attacker, putting him in a chokehold. Terai then helped to secure the struggling attacker’s legs before guards took over. Their heroic efforts were shown to be even more crucial when their fast reaction prevented any chance of the attacker throwing a second bomb that was also in his possession. 

Although mainly two fisherman were involved, it was the 70-year-old that could be most easily seen on news cameras thanks to his very eye-catching attire of a bright red shirt with a snowflake-print vest. In fact, in the aftermath of the incident, many online were left wondering: “What is he wearing?”

It didn’t take long for Internet sleuths to track down the source of the vest as none other than Workman, a popular chain selling workwear and other practical clothing. This particular item is the Winter-Wind-Proof Shell Vest that sold for 1,780 yen (US$13.28), but according to the Workman website is not currently available.

▼ This tweet from Workman shows it in stock in 2021

It is unclear whether the item had been discontinued for a while or the remaining stock suddenly sold out because of the news. As some of the following online comments point out, either scenario is possible.

“It’s very Japanese that the vest worn by the fisherman who apprehended the terrorist sells out.”
“I’ve had a Workman vest for five years and they work really well.”
“I’m glad everything worked out all right.”
”Workman really got a nice windfall out of this.”

“I’m sure at least one person will cosplay as the fisherman at the next Comiket.”
“They need to re-release this as the ‘hero vest.’”
“Workman doesn’t usually restock the same items either…bummer.”
“There’s a chance the fisherman will be targeted in retaliation. We should all dress like him as decoys.”
“It’s pretty ugly though…”

True, before everything that went down I’d probably scoff at a vest like that too. But sometimes it just takes the right kind of trailblazer to make you see fashion in a whole new light. Maybe not only this, but vests of all kinds will be the next wave in Japanese fashion and our own Mr. Sato will finally be vindicated for trying to bring fishing-vest-chic to Harajuku a couple years back.

Source: News Post Seven, Mainichi News, The Sankei News, Hachima Kiko
Top image: © SoraNews24
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