Get Free Tosses in Tokyo

Danny Choo is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. Danny resides in Tokyo, and blogs about life in Japan and Japanese subculture - he also works part time for the empire.
dannychoo_toss.jpg Seen the Free Hugs in Tokyo for many a moon now but this was the first time I saw Free Tosses. "Free Toss" in this case meaning where they throw you in the air like this. Folks visiting from the UK however may get the wrong idea about a "free toss" - "tossing" in London slang means to wax ones dolphin... Photo dug up from my Japan Photos category. dannychoo_vaderhug.jpg Vader and a TK unit giving out free hugs in Harajuku - larger photos at Kirainet.


  1. … I think I need more clarification as to what exactly the gentleman is offering. Is it just unexpected (and highly confusing) slang for a hug?

    And I’d hug a Trooper anyday, but a stranger on the street with a sign? Unusual – who takes them up on the offer for hugs?

    So many questions!

  2. I’m also a bit confused, but could I be right in guessing that it’s related to the earlier post on electronics and that the fellow is offering to take old gadgets off the hands of people going to the store behind him to get the latest ones, and spare them the cost of having them picked up?

  3. Hey! I did an international free hug day at my uni, glad to see I got the japanese sign translation right.

  4. I like how you mention that tossing means wanking in the UK, but don’t mention that, in the gay community, it often refers to analingus. I wonder why!

  5. the kanjis from the guy behind him say 胴上げ (どうあげ), which literally means lifting something and tossing it

  6. It seems weird to me that Danny didn’t actually tell the real meaning…

    Like Ditto said, the signs in the background say “free dou-age”
    which means that thing where people gather around someone who just did something great, pick them up and toss them up and down. I wish I could think of a good movie reference where they do this…

  7. Copy and paste 胴上げ into a google image search and it will be immediately clear what it is these people are offering. (Yes, it’s 100% safe-for-work.

  8. Here’s a blog entry about the free toss day. It’s in Japanese but there are plenty of photos.

    The blogger says that they threw about 20 people over the span of 90 minutes, and that the the theme of the event is: “we’ll toss you in the air for free in thanks for the fact that you were born and are living your life cheerfully/with high energy.”

    He also said that he saw one girl leave skipping after being thrown. Aww.

  9. I’ve never heard “wax the dolphin” before, although it’s kind of charming.

    I am guessing that it’s not from Japanese, but it makes me wonder: What are the literal translations of Japanese slang for male masturbation? I’m sure the answers will be very interesting (even/especially if there isn’t one) – anyone know?

  10. re #11

    “What are the literal translations of Japanese slang for male masturbation?”

    Translation doesn’t work like that. When you translate, you use a native-comprehensive phrase/term/word.

  11. Translation: Thousand rubs, no joke! Literal translation Made in DNA, it works like that.

    my first post yeah!!

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