Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Brewing Problem in the Gaijin Sub-Culture

I have always considered Tokyo to be a pretty safe place. The city has a slight problem with train suicides and crazed mass murders from time to time, but overall it is safe to go about your daily life. Well, it seems as if an odd wind is moving the air as of late. People are starting to act really strange.

I have been noticing some really odd behavior from other Gaijin as of late. Some kind of inner chaos has been brewing up from the depths of Tokyo and infecting the hearts and minds of those caught in the spider`s web. I don`t know how many people have noticed this, or even give a flying rats ass, but something is rotten. I smell shit. I smell the kind of shit that I have only smelled in good old West Virginia. A kind of extreme discontent which hollows out people until nothing is left inside of them except anger and madness. I know this kind of social ill well as I grew up surrounded by it everyday. It slowly grips the minds of the people. At first, it is wrote off as just another random nut who forgot to take their meds. Soon enough you start to see it everywhere and few people can pretend it is not happening.

I will give you a good example. When I got off work this past Tuesday evening I met up with my wife in Ikebukuro for a few drinks to unwind. Well, around 11:00 pm we made our way home. Well, all was fine and dandy until we reached the Joban line. A middle age looking Gaijin was standing a couple of feet away from us. He was watching us from the corner of his eye and attempting to listen in on our conversation. I could smell trouble on him but wanting to enjoy my evening I did not pay him much mind. When the train arrived, the wife and I, squeezed into a semi-comfortable spot and started chatting a little. We where not being all that loud really. We where talking about random stuff and making jest about our experiences of the day. I noticed out of the side of my eye that this guy was still watching us and listening to every word we were saying. I found this odd but I still was foolish enough to not pay attention to him.

Out of no where he starts going off on me like a dog with rabies. He was talking pure shit to me for no good reason at all. From what I was able to understand he said the following: `I don`t like you motherfucker. Who do you think you are? You can fool the Japanese but there is a fellow Gaijin on the train with you. I don`t like you motherfucker. I have lived in Tokyo for ten years and I can have you snuffed out. I know people in Kita-Senji so you better watch yourself asshole. You just shut the fuck up now before something happens to you.`

In this kind of situation a lot of people would tense up and dirty a pair of pants. I on the other hand grew up around this kind of redneck behavior so I was able to stay cool as ice. The important thing to remember in these situations is to not show any fear on your face. Even if you are about to crap all over yourself do not show any fear on your face or you might as well bend over and get anal raped. The whole damn mess was made complex due to the fact that we are on a crowed train and I have my wife with me. If I start a fight it would be really nasty resulting in many people getting the hell beat out of them. A southern boy and a Yankee only one wrong move from brawling on a crowed train in Tokyo is not a good situation to be in at all. My only real option was to keep this guy at bay until I reached Kita-Senju and could get the hell out of the situation. He wanted to fight me real bad and there was no way in hell I was going to back down from this dick. Although, I had no desire to fight him but if he threw a punch I was going to knock him into next week.

My wife just gave me the `Ryan don`t it` look which is often confused with the `Please don`t get into a fight in Tokyo`look. The last thing I want to do is anger my wife. She controls the sex and I do not want her to take that away. Plus I actually love her and do not want to put her in a dangerous situation. Everyone else just stood frozen hoping that these two Gaijin are not going to fight on the train. So, I told the guy I have no problem with him and stared him down until we got to Kita-Senju. I got off the train but he did not follow me. I guess he really did not want any after all.

I am noticing this kind of shit happening more and more often in Tokyo. There is a section of the Gaijin sub-culture who are losing their damn minds. Maybe I am a magnet for these kind of people or I just give off a smell that says, `Come over here and whip you ass on my face.` Every so often over the last two months some other Gaijin will come up to me and say or do something totally crazy. Like the old drunken Irish guy who ruined my lunch break one day when he would not stop following and talking to me.

I really have a hard time understanding where all this anger and insanity is coming from as of late. Gaijin in Japan live in a sub-culture on the edge of society. Maybe some people just cannot handle being different and after a while they just lose their marbles. There is also the fact that because Gaijin are in a sub-culture some people who are already mentally unstable view this as an open window to raise hell with other Gaijin who have attained any type of social integration within mainstream Japanese society i.e. marriage.

For now I have no answer to this growing problem. The best I can do for now is to give this some deeper thought and deal with these insane people as they come. If you can offer up some kind of game plan to deal with this problem please feel free to leave a comment. Maybe we can figure this out together.


billywest said...

That's pretty bad. I haven't had such an experience with a fellow foreigner in Japan, yet. Hope not to, but...

Maybe he's the kind of guy that likes trouble and he thought you might be happy to oblige him. You've got to watch out for guys who are here on spouse visas; they go to jail for fighting, get released, and go about their lives in Japan; People here on working visas often get deported after being released. There's a nutjob in the neighborhood I work in who's always yelling at store clerks and calling out people who give him dirty looks for it. He's eastern-European with tattoos on his neck. I mean, talk about someone with "Born to lose" written all over him. Anyway, he hit the lottery (in his mind, anyway) by marrying a Japanese lady who doesn't seem to mind his animalistic behavior.

Anyway, good on you for not letting his stupid ass pull you down with him.

Anonymous said...

BillyWest....Eastern European = Born to lose,... I don't get it... Where such a cliche come from... Come on. Maybe this close-mind mentality is at the root of the problem.

I agree, there are tonnes of Gaijin freaks in Japan. It's call, stay away from the freaks. C'est la vie.

Nice blog!

LetsJpn said...

How long have you lived in Japan? Me- 15+. Have never had a run in with a whacko of any nationality. But, if I may, I sense from the intensity and defensiveness of your writing that you perhaps are unknowingly attracting trouble. I wonder if any "look" you gave toward the guy, or any movement, suggested you wanted a fight. And, the nut was just waiting for any little sign to proceed with his rant.

billywest said...

Hey, anonymous (You make an appearance on a lot of blogs, I've noticed), you omitted the part about tattoos on the neck when you quoted me. Pull your head out and see the forest for the trees. Go to that part of the world and see what the locals in some of those countries think about people with tattoos on their necks and faces. If I thought such people were pretty much desperadoes in any country, I wouldn't have included a geographical reference. But, in some countries (in some South Pacific island nations, for example) it's not considered a big deal.

TheGhost said...

It was a heavy situation for sure. In West Virginia that would have ended in a knock down dragged out fight. When I moved to Tokyo I decided to adopt a passive aggressive lifestyle. I will not start the fight but I will end it. This is the first time I have had such a rough situation with anyone in Japan. Usually when the nut jobs brother me I just stay polite and get rid of them as soon as I can. This time though I was not in the mood for some assholes shit. I am very glad that I was able to handle the situation peacefully.

Japan is a peaceful nation for the most part and I really hope it stays that way.

To Billy: anonymous has left comments on my blog before and he always has something negative to say. I am pretty sure that anonymous is a coward pinko commie so don`t worry about him much.

Elizabeth said...

Two weeks ago, on the Yamanote Line bound for Ueno, there was a foreign fellow cracking up, berating any foreigner who happened to step into the carriage. I took it for what it was worth - someone with a problem who also happens to speak English. He was mouthy but not really looking for a fight.

Sorry you had such an experience here, dude.

Benjamin L. Belcher said...

The key thing here isn't your pride. It's not easy to do, but the fact remains that even if you don't start the fight but end it, as billy west said you have a 99% chance of getting jailed for a month, then deported. I have staunchly decided that if I ever get into any kind of beef I'll get the shit kicked out of me and smile before I fight back and get my life stolen out from under me by some prick.

City livin is too much for some people, let alone Asian city livin.

TheGhost said...

I have been able to adjust to city life pretty well. Like I said this was the first time I have ever dealt with this kind of situation in Tokyo. I hope it is the last time too. It was a learning experience for me. Next time I will be more careful to avoid such a person all together.

Anonymous said...

Wow...freakin amazing! I've been here about a year and a half, but the only crazies I deal with are natives! I gotta say, you must be one in a million, my friend. I hope things get better for you.