Japan is a gun-free society…

… where people often get shanked.
I never used to be fazed by shit like this in the news because over the years I just became numb to it. When you first start living in Japan, it is hard to understand why the people can be selflessly polite and compassionate on one hand, and yet were feared as such ruthless self-disembowling baby killer rape-happy sadists not so long ago. One hint that perhaps not all is well in modern times, either, is the frequency of shockingly violent/sadistic/twisted incidents reported in the Japanese media. It seems like we hear about classroom slashings, group suicides, and heart-wrenching abuse cases on an almost daily basis, and I just got conditioned to it. I ceased thinking about it for many years.
Then, last year, my sister was stalked up the stairs to her apartment in Osaka. Her quavering voice on the phone, just after it happened, is burned into my memory forever. After the initial wave of brotherly concern/homicidal rage subsided within me, dark feelings started sinking in again. About how the fucked up shit you hear on TV doesn’t just happen to strangers. About how powerless you can be in the face of fate, no matter what precautions are taken or irrelevant “what are the odds” pontifications.
My sister went home to the states in the summer, but to this day, whenever I see a headline about a stabbing at a school in Osaka (way too often), I get that sinking feeling in my gut, my jaw clenches shut, and I taste copper. Time slows down and my shoulders start to feel heavy… But when I snap out of it, I realize my fists are clenched, my teeth ache from grinding together, and I seriously want to destroy some motherfuckers.

1 thought on “Japan is a gun-free society…

  1. That’s seriously fucked up. I read the Jpns English press, and there’re constant fucked up, weird violent and perverted crimes.
    Have you (1) armed your sister (my sister, who travels in rough circles, carries a straightedge razor for protection), encouraged her to (2) take self-defense training? She ought to be reflexive about eye gouges, kneeing vitals, etc.

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