For some reason, many Japanese assume that I spend lots of time in Roppongi. I always want to remind them that I neither work for a multinational bank, nor frequent female whores. But rarely, work or a culture event forces me to confront this most “foreign friendly” neighborhood. This slutty Christmas dress epitomizes my absolute horror at being in Roppongi or in any way associated with what goes down there.
I was surprised to discover recently that Pipo kun, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police mascot, comes in many generations. Normally he’s the youthful character with open mouth and clothed only in a belt and shoulder strap (center image). But as I discovered on a rare visit to Roppongi in the evening hours, he can also be seen as a baby with a bottle, a girl, a housewife, a salaryman, grandma and grandpa with a cane. I am not sure how much protection all these characters offer, but I guess they are cute.
Ok. This is in very bad taste. But, I am hoping to improve my listening abilities by following the lurid trial of Oshio Manobu, an attractive if arrogant actor accused of providing ecstacy to a Ginza hostess and then abandoning her when she had a heart attack.
This story has many important angles: the first famous “lay judge” or jury trial since it was recently introduced in Japan, a story about drug panic in Japan (love the visual at the beginning where hundreds of pills are flying across the screen), its location in a super expensive Roppongi apartment possibly owned by the Peaches John bra shop’s female owner, and so on. Here’s yesterday’s summary in English.
Verdict is on Friday!
What makes the story mesmerizing for me, and probably for many Japanese female viewers, is the combination of Oshio’s bad character and his many hot looks. Is it wrong to think sexual thoughts of a bad person? Can you learn Japanese while feeling conflicted? (I have posted twice previously last December and August).
What do you think?!
This is too choice! In the safest city in the world, the US Embassy is now warning Americans to stay away from Roppongi. This story was circulating widely on Twitter yesterday, and I laughed out loud. Based on the photo above, I guess the warning only applies to Americans (^_-)
From Kosins Attorney at Foreign Law blog, I must quote the entire post:
The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo reissued its July 10, 2009 warning advising American citizens from frequenting bars and clubs in the Roppongi area of Tokyo due to drink-spiking incidents. As stated in the American Citizenship Services (ACS) Newsletter, the U.S. Embassy “continues to receive reliable reports of U.S. citizens being drugged in Roppongi-area bars.”
The U.S. Embassy continues to receive reliable reports of U.S. citizens being drugged in Roppongi-area bars. Most reports indicate that the victim unknowingly drinks a beverage that has been secretly mixed with a drug that renders the victim unconscious or stuporous for several hours, during which time large charges are fraudulently billed to the victim, sums of money are charged to the victim’s credit card, or the card is stolen. Victims sometimes regain consciousness in the bar or club, while at other times the victim awakens on the street. Assaults on Americans have also been reported in connection with drink-spiking.
U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security.
I have been invited to talk at a well-known cultural space/bar next week in Roppongi. Do you think I should only invite Japanese and Europeans?