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Miyoco, also known as Mrs. Noisy (騒音おばさん,Souon Obasan) or “Hikkoshi Obasan/Babaa” (引越しおばさん/引越しババァ; lit. Mrs. Move), refers to a Japanese woman named Miyoko Kawahara (河原美代子). In 2006, she was sentenced to 20 months in prison for spending two and a half years blasting music to annoy her neighbor until she moved out. The neighbor recorded Miyoko’s antics and sent them to Japanese television stations. After they aired, many people created audio and video remixes based on the clips.
In 1989, a 64-year old woman moved in to a house 6 meters (20 feet) away from Miyoko’s home in the Heguri, Nara Prefecture in Japan. Miyoko became angry when her neighbor did not officially greet her after moving in. Starting in November 2002, she spent over 2 years playing music as loud as possible nearly 24 hours a day through a portable stereo aimed at her neighbor’s house. She also set out to annoy the neighbor in other ways. She would honk her car horn, shine bright lights in the other house’s direction and would pat a rug on her balcony while yelling things like “Hikkoshi! Hikkoshi! Sassato Hikkoshi! Shibakuzo!” (引越ーし！引越ーし！ さっさと引越ーし！ しばくぞ！！; lit. Move away! Move away! Move away immediately! or slap you!), and “Kougi Simāsu!” (抗議しまーす！; lit. I make a protest (against you)!).
Miyoko(M): FUTON! PUT FUTON AWAY QUICKLY!! IT’S PROTEST!! BIGGEST NEIGHBORHOOD TROUBLE!! AND YOU QUARREL! AAHHHH!!?
Narration(N): 24 hours, 365 days, never ending surging nuisances to the neighbors.
M: I protest to vicious nasty things!
Reporter: Q.(For 9 years) Is it happen everyday?
N: Resident take a video by camera, and recorded whole of the nuisances in detail.
N: At 10 a.m., a boom box’s volume is max. The roar never stop to peal in the midnight.
Police man: Stop the music. Because it’s disturbing the neighborhood.
N: Disregard the warning obey police man.
M: PUT AWAY BRISKLY!!(Horn:BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEEP)
N: When go out, honk a horn repeatedly by no reason.(BEEEEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP) And then, in addition she deal a hard blow futon and make a noise in the early morning. In spite of….
Resident: If I air the futon, she yells.
M: FUTON! PUT FUTON AWAY QUICKLY!! IT’S PROTEST!!
N: After all, this trouble lasted for 9 years. Our news crews marked this woman before arrest. Reported woman’s selfish saying.
M: Actually, I think I want to power off at night, and down volume at day. But residents don’t obey the rule. the minimum rule as human.
N: Woman has been sued 7 times, but never admitted her faults.
The videos below are the neighbor’s recordings that aired on the news channels in Spring 2005. This first one is a video compilation was first created and uploaded by the staff of conbinibento.com.
This other video compilation shows the neighbor’s many other recordings that were also aired on the news channels.
This other video compilation contains some of the neighbor’s recordings of Miyoco’s boombox playing a few songs that were played out loud against her neighbor.
Miyoko’s neighbor was able to capture video footage of her actions and sent them to news reporters and law enforcement. In April 2005, Miyoko was arrested for making excessively loud noise and inflicting injuries upon her neighbor a year later. Her arrest was covered in a blurb on Fox News on April 13, 2005. On June 28th, 2005, The Japan Times reported that she was pleading not guilty to the charges, claiming her music was “not too loud,” despite the news report stating it was over 70 decibels during the day, when the environmental standard is 55. On October 8th, 2005, Miyoko was ordered to compensate her former neighbor 2 million yen in damages. At the time, the fine would have been the equivalent of $17,418.57 in the US.
Japanese news media began reporting her incident from March 14th, 2005, and they aired her protests each and every day with a mich of tone making fun of her. The extensive news coverage combined with how bizarre the situation was led to its popularity. It soon became to a subject of mockery in the Japanese anonymous text board community 2channel. People in 2ch’s /news/ and /news4vip/ boards had shared news footages and tried searching her personal information that were unrevealed in those days.
Then, the online parody movement for her was sparked by a flash animated video for an anonymous 2channel user’s song sampling her violent voices. It was posted by a 2channel flash creator jotohe (上等兵) to his web page when news flashes of her arrestment made a headline on April 12th, 2005.
In the same day, another 2channel user posted an English phonetic translation for her torrent of bad language including the famous line “Hip Hop Shit!”.
At that moment, 2channel users finally succeeded to generate her online persona “Miyoco”, a legendary hiphop singer. In concert with that song, many amatuer composers gathered in a thread in /techno/ (Techno music) board and joined into the Miyoco’s bandwagon with their original musical remixes. Among them, this song below titled “HIP HOP SHIT!” by a user Tomozo (友蔵) got a large popularity among Japanese internet users. He had continually produced many Miyoco songs and led Miyoco’s creative music remix scene in 2channel threads.
Those creations had been listed in a series of Miyoco threads in /gline/ board and archive pages launched by 2channel users. This creative but unscrupulous online movement was continually reported by Japanese net media web and news media in that month. Furthermore, a famous composer Ryuichi Sakamoto picked up Miyoco songs in his midnight radio program in a Japanese FM radio station J-WAVE in July 2005. In those days, it was very rare case that online phenomenon were reported by Japanese old media, not so positive to online users activities.
Besides, Miyoco got the spotlight again as a resource for MAD video on the Japanese video sharing service Nico Nico Douga in the middle of 2007. And several of those videos are reuploaded to YouTube. She has her own article on niconico Pedia and Uncyclopedia.
Truth of Mrs. Noisy
In May 2005, a Japanese monthly magazine Shincho 45 posted a short reportage titled “Hip-hop mattress beater: What made her so?”, which documented the incident with a skeptical tone and included her real elder sister’s remark “Neighbors insulted Miyoco’s family in first”. This magazine’s report was dressed up by anonymous informants in 2channel, and it became to a sort of conspiracy theory titled “The Truth of Mrs. Noisy” (騒音おばさんの真実).
Brief of the story:
Her family except for herself caught an intractable hereditary disease. She had already lost her husband and daughters although she had made efforts to devotedly take care of her families. She had also made good relationships between neighborhoods. However, she became to be suffered with heavy insults by a neighborhood family after she refused their invitation to join a religious group that they were belonged to. They reviled her dead daughter was a mentally retarded.
She just made a protest against whom insulted her dead daugher. Many of harassments which were insisted to be done by herself were produced by the neighbors themselves. The true perpetrator was the neighbors who insisted themselves as a victim in the case, and they were belonged to Soka Gakkai.
Despite of the fact that several rumors in the story were officially denied by testifies on the court, not a few people still believe this theory. In the background, there are deep suspiciousness to mass media which treated her incident like a stupid comedy show and strong aversion against Soka Gakkai among Japanese people.
Because an atmosphere of sympathy for Miyoco were generated by this theory and people got tired of her, Miyoco phenomenon eventually died out around the late 2007, when she came out of jail. In addition, since it’s considered as a blatant human-rights violation to show names or faces in public of whom have finished their duty in prison in usage of the Japanese law, she has been rarely talked about by people in later years. Even Japanese wikipedia has set her real name to a subject of removal from articles.
For more videos, check out the videos section in this entry.
“Snow, Silence, At the Window Side” from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Night of (k)nights feat. I’ll Go to Tokyo, Ran Ran Ru, Haruhi, Ichiro, and Shuzo Matsuoka
Motteke! Sailor Fuku
Kirby's Gourmet Race
Notable Media Appearance
Her hilarious futon beating has been sometimes parodied on commercial media.
A comedy show in May 2005:
In February 2006, a Japanese motorbike maker SUZUKI released a new TV commercial for a cyclemotor AdressV50 starring a Japanese idol Aya Matsuura. In the commercial, she sung with the same rhythm to Miyoco’s one.
Injection! Injection! Gasorin Setsuyaku Dekiru! (Injection! Injection! You can save gasoline!)
In 2008, a Japanese TV police drama aired the story getting inspiration from Miyoco. It centered a lady called “Mrs. heller” (迷惑おばさん), who annoyed neighborhood by a loud singing or beating a frying pan.
In 2009, one of the main characters in a Japanese TV anime series Gintama parodied her Futon beating in the 45th episode.
Since similar cases of Miyoco, ladies who annoys neighbors by noisy sounds, were reported as “Mrs. Noisy” (騒音おばさん), this term has several spikes in later years.
Editor’s Note: Registration is needed to browse the original videos listed in this section.
NYTimes.com – World Briefing – Asia – Japan – The Crime Of Boom, Boom, Boom / 12-28-2006
USATODAY.com – Japanese woman gets 20 months in prison for blasting rock music at neighbor / 12-27-2006
Zaeega – 例のアノ、過激なパンクテロリスト、騒音おばさんのフラッシュが満を持して完成しました。そして当然着メロまでも。 / 04-13-2005 (Japanese)
nikkansports.com – / 04-18-2005 (Internet Archive, Japanese)