Just a little Christmas shopping in Akihabara, a beautiful sunny winter day, The Monkees on my iPod and some of those fantastic Onigiri (natto ume and a Tuna mayo with konbu)……
Smoking a cigarette and thinking about a little trip to Pop Life ;-) and I spot this guy just wandering along talking to his friend (another “oh isn’t it just so kawaii the cos-play culture in Japan” child in a mans body).
A few seconds of speechless inaction as I realize that the depths that some people will sink to has managed to shock me once again, no matter how unshockable I think I have become.
I can feel the anger rising and consider the courses of action open to me, One of which would ,despite the fact that it was a guy in a f$%king SS uniform I had just beaten to a pulp, would have resulted in a telephone call free, sleep deprived stay with Tokyo’s notoriously foreigner friendly boys in blue.
So, with great thanks that this was happening in broad daylight on a crowded street and not at night when I had a few beers in me, I was able to choose a much more sensible option.
Up I stroll, with a big “don’t be afraid little man” smile, and ask the
wanker gentleman in my most polite Japanese if I can take his picture.
Much to my surprise he happily agreed (definitely a good thing as I fear option 1 may have taken over if he’d said no) and even apologized for forgetting his SS armband that completes the outfit that day.
I shot 4 or 5 frames, thanked him through clenched teeth and walked away.
Now that the narative is over , anyone who knows me will be expecting me to launch into a screaming rant on the topic of racism and xenophobia in Japan.
Im not going to.
I have reached a point where I just dont care enough to try, and as one commenter on my flickr stream where this picture was originally posted said, “looks like nature is taking it’s own revenge on his skin…”
In many countries it would be illegal to walk around in that most offensive of offensive outfits, in many others he would have been beaten to a pulp, but not here.
As far as I can fathom it there are two explanations for this guy:
1) He was a genuine Nazi, in which case I begrudgingly feel a trace of respect for him, for in a country where people very rarely (except for the ultra-rightists) have the backbone to actually stand up for what they believe in, this man was wearing his true colours , in place of the missing armband, on his sleeve for all to see.
Still a vile and disgusting little man, please don’t misunderstand me, but one with a trace of balls.
2) He was tragically unaware of the full weight of the symbolism which he was playing with.
In this case, the afore mentioned beating (and i REALLY don’t condone violence) may just have done him some good, made him go home and think about ‘why’, maybe, just maybe, get even a hint of a clue about what his cos-play fun actually meant.
Unfortunately, I doubt it.
So you see, there will be no rant, because I have come to understand that a people get the society they deserve, so I will just post the picture and let you make up your own mind.