Cruel Boss Dunks Employee’s Face in Boiling Hotpot as a Joke

A 23-year-old man has filed a criminal complaint against his ex-boss for dunking his face into a scalding hotpot at an office party, as a joke, causing severe burns to his face that required over a month to heal.

The shocking event reportedly took place at a company party on December 20, 2015, but was made public just last week, after a couple of videos recorded on mobile phones went viral online. One of the clips shows a group of people sitting around a table in a Japanese-style restaurant. In the center of the table is a “nabe”, a pot of boiling water used for cooking meat and vegetables over an open flame. At one point, a man whose face is not shown in the video grabs the one of the people around the table by the back of his head and dunks his face into the nabe, holding him down for a couple of seconds before he manages to wrestle free, knocking over the pot.

Photo: YouTube screengrab

According to Japanese news magazine Shukan Shinchothe victim was a former employee of a Japanese entertainment agency, and the man seen holding his head down into the hotpot was the president of the agency. After the disturbing clips went viral all over Asia last week, the 23-year-old victim and his lawyers held a press conference to announce that they will file a criminal complaint with police for assault and also file suit at the Tokyo District Court.

It’s unclear why the victim took so long to take action against his former boss, especially since he claims that the cruel prank has left him traumatized.

“When I see a hot pot, it reminds me of that time and it is painful,” the mans told reporters, adding that he wants his ex-boss to admit his crime and atone for it.

Photo: YouTube screengrab

Taiwanese news website Apple Daily revealed some disturbing details about the 2015 incident, claiming that the agency’s boss dunked the man’s head in the boiling water not once, but twice. Apparently, he was unsatisfied with the other employees’ reaction to his first prank and told the victim “There are clients here, make it fun,” before shoving his head into the boiling water again. This time he even held the victim’s head down for longer, forcing him to wrestle himself free and knocking down the pot in the process.

Instead of helping their colleague or at least showing their disapproval of the cruel prank, the other people shown in the video can be heard laughing and cheering, and one man can even be seen continuing to cook ingredients in the same pot.

Asia One reports that when interviewed about the incident by Shukan Shincho, the cruel boss described the whole thing as “just a prank”. However, photos of the victim’s head shown in the viral video are proof that there was nothing funny about it. In fact, the 23-year-old man, who preferred to remain unnamed, said that his burn scars required over a month to heal.


Social media both in Japan and abroad have accused the boss of cruelty and demanded that he be brought to justice. The chances of that happening are actually pretty slim, though, as “power harassment” in the workplace is deeply ingrained in Japanese corporate culture, and there are currently no laws to prevent it.

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