175 people suddenly freeze in Osaka, Japan train station

posted on 14 Sep 2008 in Fun Video

What happens when 175 people suddenly freeze at a train station in Japan?  Here’s a sample from Umeda Japan: 


Of course this was a prank organized by what I am guessing are actors or an improve group (?). Interesting to see how people take pictures with ‘frozen’ people.

Here’s another freeze video taken at Umeda station in Osaka (looks like a different place and time): 


Source: Urban Prankster Network.

  • Neb

    There’s a group in the US called “Improve Everywhere”, and they’ve been doing this and other “public art” for a few years. http://improveverywhere.com/

  • Nyna

    OMG that would be so fun! Though I doubt I would be able to keep a straight face! lol

  • Poss

    It was also done here in Perth, West Aust a few months back.

  • coffeebot

    It’s not so bad, mine only last for 20 seconds. Oh, I thought you said BRAIN FREEZE, not train freeze. Nevermind

  • TravisHiroshima

    This is the station I get off at once a week when I commute up to Osaka. I’m gonna scan the station and see if I can find exactly where this happened. Very cool.


  • Andrea

    That is awesome! I love the whimsical stunts.

    Just a spelling note — it is Improv Everywhere, as in short for improvisation. No E at the end.

  • coffeebot

    imPROVE it

  • Izumi

    Actually both videos are of the same event, just one of them was done with the official camera and the other was by an amuteur. There were people frozen all over the station. It was put off by a bilingual comedy/improv team in Osaka called the Pirates of the Dotonbori.

    I was frozen under Co-Big-Man, but am not on the video, sadly. T_T Good fun, though.

  • Jenny Easton

    related osaka article…

    On the late morning of March 10, an incredible event occurred on the opposite side of the world. It all began with three 14-year-old kids, two boys and a girl, playing around on the side of the crowded streets of Osaka, Japan. The carefree adolescents were giggling and lightheartedly pushing and shoving each other on their way to downtown.

    When they reached the train station they paid no mind to the disapproving looks they received from awaiting train riders and tourists in the loading area. The three didn’t stop their almost mischievous behavior as the rapidly approaching train was now in sight. Not knowing his own strength, the tallest boy thrust himself into the other boy who nudged the petite girl just enough that she couldn’t regain her balance. Instinctually, she grabbed her friend’s shirt as they both unwillingly jumped onto the magnetic rails of the bullet train nearly two meters below the station’s platform.

    As if captured from a scene in a movie, one of the world’s fastest trains was only seconds away. In horror, the fallen boy scrambled to get out and the crowd cried as the train was only a few short meters from disaster. People were panicking as the boy’s left arm was being pulled up by two men as if he was a stuffed animal. The young girl still lay still. For her, it was too late.

    In an instant, the train had arrived to the station as it had thousands of times before. But this time it was different. The first train car was unhinged from the rail and had veered off to the right at a 45-degree angle. The crowd became silent as they held their breath. Only about 15 centimeters (6 inches) separated the young teen from her deplorable death. The girl was carried away with only a twisted ankle, some bruises, and a broken smile.

    Strangely enough, investigators found that there were no other similar accidents ever reported within that railway system and the train conductor could not have possibly braked in time. It was believed that an object disrupted the train’s path.

    In all of the hysteria just before the train was stopped, many people had thrown objects such as garbage cans, purses, belts, and even newspapers onto the rail. However, only one of the items was the source that challenged the powerful train. An innocent left-sided flip-flop sandal adhered to the track at the point where the train derailed. Nearly unidentifiable, the only thing that was recognizable on the object was a “Rider” logo that matched a right-sided sandal found below the platform.

    As the train passengers were being escorted off the vehicle, local reporters interviewed a barefooted US tourist on site who made light of the situation and with a warm grin said, “They were indeed my Rider sandals that were found under the train but it’s okay, I was going to buy another pair anyway.”

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