Fake gaijin spun quite a tale back in the day
TOKYO — Japanese journalist Hiroshi Kubo, author of a book entitled Sagishi No Subete (All About Scam Artists), in discussing differences between Japan and the West, wrote, “the tendency to be preyed upon is part of Japan’s beautiful and traditional culture.”
“In Japan, if a friend introduces you to an acquaintance, even if that acquaintance is a relative stranger to your friend, you will automatically trust that person, regardless of his family, blood or educational background, because it would be regarded as rude to do otherwise. That's part of the Japanese culture."
Moreover, there is another difference. As book editor Noriko Matsunaga put it, “The Japanese are considerably more reluctant than Americans and Europeans to admit they had been victimized by a con artist. It’s considered a shameful, embarrassing thing. Most people would rather suffer their losses in silence than try to bring the perpetrator to justice.”
Enter Takashi Soma one of the more colorful examples of Japanese con artistry. A pure-blooded Japanese, born and raised in Japan, he spent a significant part of his adult life posing as an American jet fighter pilot.