When gauging appropriateness in a foreign land, using a drunken mob as your baseline is usually a bad idea.
Volunteers this year were extremely quick to clean up Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood after its annual Halloween street parties, with hardly a speck of leftover trash to be found by the afternoon of November 1. However, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police are still dealing with their backlog of Shibuya Halloween-related work.
Shibuya has always been, by Tokyo standards, a comparatively rowdy place, and especially so on Halloween and the weekend ahead of October 31. But this year was the worst yet, and in the early morning hours of October 28, a group of partiers decided the festive thing to do was flip over this truck.
【拡散希望】 トラック横転事件の別角度から撮影したもの。よく見ると報道カメラも写ってる。勿論撮影してるだけ。 これが渋谷ハロウィンの実態と日本のマスゴミの本当の姿です。 渋ハロ狂いすぎでしょ…。ハロウィンはどう楽しむべきか、も… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
カスたろう Naverまとめライター (@kasutaro_naver) October 28, 2018
Videos of the truck-flipping incident quickly spread through social media, becoming a symbol of the inconsiderate lawlessness that’s increasingly characterizing Shibuya’s Halloween parties. Earlier this week, the police arrested four Japanese men (all of whom had no prior connection) who were involved in the truck-flipping, and as part of their ongoing investigation, they’re also looking at an additional 11 other suspects who may be facing criminal charges.
At least one of the suspects is a foreign national (multiple non-Japanese men can be seen overturning the truck in the above video), and according to public news service NHK, he’s claiming surprise that law enforcement was bothered by the incident, saying:
“I’d heard that Halloween in Japan is crazy, and that every year people do things like this. I thought I wouldn’t get hauled in even if I got drunk and went crazy in Shibuya.”
Perhaps a little clarification is in order here. Yes, Shibuya does have massive Halloween street parties every year (or at least it’s been having them for the last few years), Yes, as with many festive gatherings in Japan, alcohol flows throughout the celebration. And yes, Japan is more accepting of getting boozed up than just about any place on the planet.
However, there’s an important line that drinkers in Japan are expected to maintain. If you get drunk and cause problems for yourself, most people will just shrug their shoulders and not give you any additional grief for it. Show up for work with a hangover or spill beer on yourself (because it was your sixth beer of the night)? Most people will shrug their shoulders and think “Eh, I’ve been there before too.”
▼ How nostalgic.