Repressive powers of secrecy and the attempted re-writing of Japan’s wartime history are now the new norm under right-wing Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. Add to that a new like-minded and supportive chief of NHK, the national broadcaster, plus an ongoing bid to change the country’s pacifist constitution, and Japan is in real danger of heading in a very worrying direction indeed.
But for the man below, it must feel like his moment has finally come. A chance to instil hatred and spread further lies. A chance to ignorantly repeat history. And a chance to at last turn the clock back to a time he never knew.
As always – I enjoy the commentary and photos. In the U.S. I get bits and pieces of Japanese news and hear of the militarization that’s going on… but something like this man’s outfit… seems so wildly out of place in today’s world it is hard to comprehend.
Keep up the good work!
Thank you very much.
It does. Thankfully he is very much out of place, but at the same time it’s not at all uncommon to see such people loudly voicing their opinions. Actually that’s what he was about to do — stand atop a truck and shout his hatred.
I was going to take a photo of him doing just that, but it seemed more interesting to photograph him out of his natural environment as it were, hopefully highlighting his wildly out of synch views and appearance.
Cosplay takes on a dark side.
Yeah, in many ways that’s exactly what it is.
He doesnt look particularly rabid, I feel you might be a biased left wing idiot who is willing to lie about people whose opinion he disagrees with. You should be ashamed of yourself but I know you arent. You left wingers make me sick. Get off the internet.
You may well have a point, as to be fair, he’s perhaps not quite as rabid as you.
Hans ter Horst says
Bernadette Marchetti says
Lee, you are a true gentleman.
Bernadette Marchetti says
Oh, and I mean that in all seriousness, btw.
Thank you very much. Very kind of you to say such a thing.
Left Winger says
Okay, let’s get off the internet and see how much of an opinion you have when you see me. Are you in Tokyo? Let’s meet around Ueno station in the evening.
You have my E-Mail address. I’m waiting.
Too too funny. That has to be a joke. If not then you are.
I wonder if he’s confused, and got off the wrong train, intending on going to, I dunno, Rome? He looks more like a Camicie Nere, Squadristi (Italian Blackshirt fascist) than anything Japanese. I mean really, can’t these guys get anything right?
Is that older SS cosplay guy still hanging around Harajuku?
“I wonder if he’s confused, and got off the wrong train, intending on going to, I dunno, Rome?”
Brilliant! That really made me laugh. But yeah, where on earth he conjured that one up I don’t know…
Good question. I haven’t seen him, but now it’s getting a bit warmer, he could well be out and about again.
An Expat says
Anyone wanna take bets on whether the boots this knuckledragger were made in China??
Odds on I reckon.
Katsuya Nomura says
I agree the guy in the picture looks rabid and probably IS rabid indeed. But linking PM Abe (and the issues you cited) to this nutjob seems a bit too off or even deceptive to me.
If I had been in the US when, say, George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act and had seen a KKK/Neo-Nazi rally, at least I wouldn’t have said “Their moment has finally come…”.
No that’s definitely a fair call in regards the US. And in Japan it might be too. But I’d say that while obviously not poltically connected as such, the far-right do have a lot in common with Abe. An extremist of course he isn’t, but when it comes to China, Yasukuni and the military, they are all on roughly the same page. So when I suggested his time has come, I meant in the way the county is headed, and the very right-wing policies the government is enacting, or in the case of the constitution, trying to enact.
Katsuya Nomura says
Thanks for having read my comment and taking your time to respond in a sincere manner.
>that’s definitely a fair call in regards the US.
I agree to a certain degree. The analogy was bad one.
The point I wanted to make is the so-called “è¡—å®£å³ç¿¼ gaisen uyoku” – ones who ride on black vans, clad in militaristic uniforms, playing obnoxious music through loudspeakers – have little to do with politics or ideology, but their existence is better understood as a “front” of Yakuza organizations.
The Japanese police calls them ä¼¼éžå³ç¿¼(pseudo uyoku) or å½è£…å³ç¿¼(camouflage uyoku) to distinguish them form right-wing proper. http://goo.gl/nZ0NCQ
Fun Fact: The largest and most influential Uyoku dantai å›½éš›å‹å…±é€£åˆ(International Federation for Victory over Communism) which has countless sub-groups under the different names was founded by Sun Myung Moon of Unification Church with the two eminent Japanese figures Ryoichi Sasakawa and Yoshio Kodama – a kind of Godfathers of Yakuza, who are also known as CIA collaborators.
This VICE Japan video might give you an insight on Yakuza/Uyoku groups.
As to the reason why this topic is not openly talked about in Japan, my guess is as good as yours.
Thanks a lot for the links, and especially the film â€” I’ll watch that later.
I completely understand now what you were getting at. It’s a very murky world, isn’t it? But like you say, why it’s not talked about is anybody’s guess. Although that’s arguably the case with many issues. Homelessness, the sex trade, drug use etc. Ignoring such things seems to make them all conveniently invisible…
The difference being, perhaps, that it’s arguable as to whether Japan has done anything more than play at democracy in the post-war years. While the U.S. Has certainly slipped, some may say fallen altogether,
https://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/14, one of Japan’s first post-war PM was indicted for war crimes (as should have been pretty much the entire Bush cabinet post 2003) and nearly every PM has had far too cosy a relationship with organized crime.
A great deal of Germany and Italy’s shifts to the right were economic reactions and the ability to label “others” as the source of the nations’ problems. This is exactly the mindset of Japan’s rightists and it’s curious over the decades that most PMs have ignored this. The only officials of import to really address this, Motoshima and Itoh, were attacked by the right, one paying with his life.
Very true. The LDPs almost constant rule since the war and the shockingly nepotistic old boys club that makes up Japan’s ruling elite does make me question the validity of Japan’s ‘democracy’. It often feels like a democracy in name only. At least at the national level anyway. Money and connections clearly talk in other countries — as a Brit I need look no further than the current cabinet’s privileged, Eton bias — but in Japan it often seems to be the system itself, rather than a horrible hijacking of it.
And with their basically being no opposition at the moment after the implosion of the DPJ, there is no chance of that changing even slightly in the forceable future. If indeed the DPJ do actually offer a real alternative anyway…
Sadly, as extremist as the minority in Japan CAN be, it is surrounded by even more “rabid” nations such as the DPRK and mainland China, the latter of which is more than capable of increasing shows of force and reckless destabilization of the Pacific. While extremism in any form, left or right, must always be tempered, I fully support Japan’s recent push to be more self-sufficient where national defense is concerned. Politically, socially and economically—to say nothing of strategically—Japan will never again be capable of regional domination as it was in the first half of the 20th Century, but it must not be seen as a pushover either. Bullying Japan must always be perceived by its potential aggressors as either suicidal or an unacceptably expensive prize. Japan can’t present itself that way under the current restrictions.
Yeah, Japan is certainly the only guilty party in the region. It’s generally six of one and half a dozen of the other.
A more assertive, confident Japan is certainly not a bad thing either, but unfortunately everything always seemed to be tied to the past, as though Japan somehow can’t, or doesn’t want to, move on.
Obviously the US is still here, and its presence clearly makes Japan safer, but at the same undoubtedly causes more than a few problems, both practically and psychologically. Yet on its own Japan has a fordable defence force. Perhaps not in the actual number of soldiers, but certainly in regards machinery and technology. A very sizeable military budget that Abe recently increased too.
Not of which is necessarily a bad thing, but for me personally, it’s the man and his government that are currently in charge of it. His image of Japan in the future worrying seems very much entrenched in the past…