Fearing Crime, Japanese Wear the Hiding Place (New York Times)
I have always been fascinated by the oddball ideas that originate in Japan. (Perhaps the Japanese would say the same thing about our ideas!) I appreciate that kind of inventiveness, creativity, and out-of-box thinking. The manhole bag seems to have some merit, but the image of a child pretending to be a fire hydrant is simply priceless.
For a much more bizarre look at a slice of Japanese culture, check out this list of "baffling toys from around the world" from Cracked.com; it appears that most of them are from Japan. Warning: you may find some of these toys to be offensive, especially if you have trouble with the idea of a "poop hat."