There’s a new Internet challenge in Japan: people are squeezing themselves into musical instrument cases or hiding inside cardboard boxes, imitating former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan. Over the last few days, Japanese Internet users have been posting photos of themselves contorting into guitar cases as part of the ‘Carlos Ghosn challenge’.

Ghosn had been detained since November 2018 in Japan on charges of financial misconduct. He managed to escape – in a manner reminiscent of a Hollywood caper – and turn up in Lebanon on New Year’s Eve, much to the astonishment of the Japanese justice system and even his own legal team.

Rumours spread online – according to the BBC, originally started by Lebanese broadcaster MTV Lebanon – that Ghosn had escaped by hiding in a musical instrument case and was smuggled out by a group of people masquerading as musicians. The Wall Street Journal said that he had escaped in a trunk used for audio equipment. His wife told news agency Reuters that that version of events was "fiction".
In this photo, a man tries to hide inside the case for his double bass – and wonders if it's more comfortable than a crate.
In this one, a woman pushes herself into a cardboard box that was used to deliver a chair.

It’s not just people online, though: TV hosts and radio commentators have also got in on the fun. In this photo, the famous entertainment journalist Masaki Omura tests out the comfort factor of a trunk for equipment.


The journalist Hisanori Yoshida also gives it a go during one of his shows.


Other photos show trunks or cases sporting stickers making Carlos Ghosn jokes. This one says: "There’s no Carlos Ghosn inside."

The tweet reads: ‘The Japanese are excellent at this. Stickers for large baggage leaving Japan. "Ghosn is not inside"’

Article by Hermann Boko