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Zing Hareruya
October 11, 1999
Step right up and clobber Akira Hareruya (left), a Japanese businessman who moonlights as a punching bag. Hareruya, 36, a former prizefighter whose name means "feel better, don't give up," charges Tokyo pedestrians 1,000 yen—about $10—to take a minute's worth of pokes at him while he bobs and weaves. "I never hit back, so it's very safety," says the 5'6", 167-pounder in the halting English he usually saves for Stallone-style cries of "Yo, Adrian!"
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October 11, 1999

Zing Hareruya

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Step right up and clobber Akira Hareruya (left), a Japanese businessman who moonlights as a punching bag. Hareruya, 36, a former prizefighter whose name means "feel better, don't give up," charges Tokyo pedestrians 1,000 yen—about $10—to take a minute's worth of pokes at him while he bobs and weaves. "I never hit back, so it's very safety," says the 5'6", 167-pounder in the halting English he usually saves for Stallone-style cries of "Yo, Adrian!"

Hareruya says he took up sidewalk sluggery in February to help pay a $1.5 million debt he ran up as an electrical contractor. "I've had about 2,600 customers in seven months of doing this, and only two have knocked me down," he says in Japanese. "Down, but not out. I always get up." Police find him equally resilient: They often tell Hareruya to beat it because he doesn't have a permit for a sidewalk business. The human heavy bag apologizes and retreats, only to pop up again on another street corner.

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