The ‘Karate Monkey’ Earns A Black Belt. Cool Trick? Or Animal Abuse?


Yachan, a monkey that lives in a town near Tokyo, has become so proficient in martial arts that he’s earned a black belt. He breaks wooden panels with kicks and punches. He spars with his sensei. He also delivers drinks to the customers of his owner’s bar. Some may think a karate-chopping, bartending monkey is cute and harmless. But here at Scandalist we’re skeptics.

First, we wonder about his owner’s motives. Does he make money off of Yachan’s karate skills or is it simply that a daily regimen of sit-ups and push-ups does a monkey good? We also wonder how Yachan was trained. Is he punished when he wants to skip practice to lie around and eat bananas? And, lastly, is it really a good idea to teach a monkey how to fight?

Remember the man that lost his nose and a testicle after visiting an ape in a California animal sanctuary? Chimps, of course, are bigger and more powerful than Yachan. Still, it may be best for everyone if monkeys are left out in the wild.

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