After hiking in Japan on assignment for Backpacker, I learned the Japanese take their mountains seriously — especially when it comes to bagging volcanoes like the gorgeous Mt. Fuji. But after clowning around with hut keepers and local backpackers, I discovered they take their pranks even more seriously. Combine the two, and you have a recipe for the greatest prank of the year. Comedian Toshiaki Kasuga, on assignment near Mt. Fuji, got wasted and crashed in one of the mountainside huts (sound familiar?). Unbeknownst to him, the television program Dokkiri Award was onsite to wire his bed with fireworks, connect it to cranes, and then catapult him hundreds of feet into the air early in the morning. The video isn't embeddable, unfortunately, so watch the whole thing here (via Kotaku).
Bravo, Japan, bravo. Stateside, we take pride in our backcountry pranks, too – there’s the old rocks-in-the-pack move, or the switch-your-climbing-partner’s-pee-and-water-bottles trick, for instance—but this one is an entirely new level of crazy. While we here at BACKPACKER don't encourage dangerous stunts involving pyrotechnics, it's clear we're going to have to up our game somehow.