On June 25th I went to the Tokyo Youtube Gathering at the Sports Cafe in Roppongi. Got there late but got my butt kicked by a couple of Oolong Hi’s (or was it 4 or 5?) Tokyo Decadance that eclectic hodge-podge of Japanese underground subculture happened to be going on the same night a few blocks away so I donned my samurai armor (which got me a discount at the door) and took a couple of Youtubers over there after the Youtube meet-up.
We had a good time and saw some wild stuff which some of it can’t be shown here for the obvious reasons but take out word for it – it was wild! Youtubers in attendance: http://www.youtube.com/edtomorrow
Happy New Years from Tokyo! Here are a few scenes of me celebrating the new year in a couple of places from one of my old watering holes when I used to live in Otsuka the Black Sheep in Ikebukuro where I did the countdown. Then I moved on to Shinjuku to Decadance Bar which is like a mini-Tokyo Decadance event every weekend.
At the end of the night I ended up in Roppongi fairly hammered before stumbling back home and missing my connection stop. All in all, a good time! Happy New Years!
From some other New Years Activities in the past:
New Years Eve at Zojo-ji Temple in Hamamatsucho
New Years Day Activities at Yasukuni Shrine
Here is my compilation of videos watching Japan in the 2010 World Cup in various places in Tokyo. Japanese fans are fun to watch and party with and of course lots of cute genki girls makes for lots of fun!
JAPAN VS CAMEROON
Despite low expectations, Japan beat Cameroon June 14th 1-0. Many expected Japan to lose because they were lower in rank than Cameroon and hadn’t done so hot in the pre-Cup games.
I watched the game at a bar in Tokyo and later walked about and over to a Hub Pub and talked to Japanese and foreigners alike about the game. I forgot my video camera at home so I was forced to rely on the crappy video function of my small digital photo camera so the audio and video are bit rougher than usual.
JAPAN VS NETHERLANDS
Japan put up a valiant effort against Netherlands on June 19th but eventually lost 0-1. Many people thought Japan would lose anyway because Netherlands is such a strong team but they didn’t score their only goal until the second half. Japan came close to a draw but unfortunately not close enough. Now the big game is against Denmark June 24th which will be at 3:30am the next morning here in Japan.
I went to the artistic haunts of the Design Festa Cafe in Harajuku to watch the game and while there I polled some of the spectators on Japan’s chances. I tried to motivate flagging spirits by singing the “Oh, Nippon” song but some of them didn’t know it.
I also ran into fellow youtuber, Tolokyo, there and got his candid opinion on the game.
JAPAN VS DENMARK
Japanese celebrate going to 2nd Round with World Cup Win against Denmark
Japan vs Denmark for the chance to proceed to the 2nd Round of the World Cup. Both had beat Cameroon and both had lost to Netherlands so it was anyone’s game and a lot was riding on it.
I went to Shibuya on the last train and found fans celebrating more than two hours before the game to get themselves pysched up for the coming match.
I caught the first part of the game not too mention Japan’s first goal on a frizzy muted TV in the notorious meat-market club Gaspanic before moving on to a little under-the-tracks bar that was jam-packed spilling out up to the road. I could hardly see the game but the atmosphere was definitely lively especially when Japan scored its second goal before half-time. After half I went to the Irish bar chain Dubliner’s where I could actually see the game for a change. There Denmark scored goal but a few minutes later Japan scored it’s third and final goal winning the game and going to the 2nd Round. At this point win or lose the next game, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just enough to get through especially when many people’s expectations were so low.
Shibuya Crossing was a madhouse. The police had blocked off the main diagonal crossing for fear the street would be choked with partiers and traffic would never get through. I ended my night or rather early morning with a beer in a small bar before getting some shut-eye.
JAPAN VS PARAGUAY
Ah, Japan lost to Paraguay in the Second Round to that bullshite known as PK (Penalty Kicks) but still they played a good game and can hold their heads high this World Cup.
I went to Shibuya again to watch the game and the festivities. Unfortunately there practically more cops than fans this time around (no one was tazzed though so I have to commend the Japanese police there). Also there was no public viewings despite there being huge TV screens at Shibuya crossing.
After the game despite the loss, Japan team fans still celebrated to the wee hours.
Tokyo Decadance Pirate Christmas
Have Yourself a Piratey Little Christmas, Maties!
Santa enjoys a beer with a pirate
Christmas has rolled around once more and Tokyo Decadance that eclectic melting pot of subcultures celebrates the holiday season with Santa and Pirates. One gives while the other takes. Considering the latter have probably been on the naughty list for so long that it’s only natural that Pirates should want a little for themselves.
Pirate Santa hangs out with a motley crew
A Goth Pirate
Pirate Santa with a Pirate Wench
A Vampiric Nursing Santa Helper
The Easter Bunny dropped by with a friend
Pirate wench(?) and Monster enjoying Christmas
Is that a yule log in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Captain Blackbeard Adrien, Captain of the Tokyo Decadance vessel
Pirate Santa has acquired some precious booty
A saucy serving wench kept us supplied with sauce
This Pirate Angel will stick the tree up your ass and you’ll like it – if you know what’s good for you
A bare chested pirate doesn’t feel the chill laden with rum as he is
Mrs. Claus lets herself go at Tokyo Decadance this Christmas
Santa on his day off
Pirate Santa shanghais a nurse to tend to the wounds in his loins
Too much rum lays a pirate lad-lass low
Keeping the Yule Log warm
A pirate has his hands full with booty and a scurvy confused boarder
Mrs. Claus getting into the Holiday Spirit with Good Cheer and Kink
Have yourself a Merry Surreal Christmas!!!
And suddenly the rum kicked in…
Santa is a right jolly ole elf
This is a mishmash of scenes from two Halloween parties from 2008 and 2009 known as Glitterball. Glitterball is a twice-a-year party hosted by Metropolis magazine, a free weekly english magazine.
An extra feature is my avant-garde arthouse film entitled “Le Morte d’Clown” (The Death of a Clown) starring Pierre Du-Phew as Coco the Suicide Clown. Enjoy!
Tokyo Decadance Halloween 2009
Decadant particpants at Tokyo Decadance Halloween
Another fun-filled Tokyo Decadance event with sexy sirens, wickedly wild witches, ghoulish goblins, devious devils, rollicking robots, newhalf ninja, vicious violinists, plundering pirates, alliterating *ssholes, and god knows what else for Halloween.
Also in attendance was Rolly Teranishi who performed at last year’s Halloween event. Here he sang two songs from the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show in Japanese with a bit of English.
Rolly Teranishi was a member of the Japanese rock band Scanch before going solo. He’s a big fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and has played Dr. Frank-N-Furter in Japanese stage versions.
Hoichi the Earless(?) and Pretty Devil enjoy Tokyo Decadance
One of my favorite costumes at the event was the girl dressed up as Hoichi the Earless even though she still had her ears. This is from an old ghost story where a blind biwa player unknowingly played for the ghosts of a defeated samurai clan. In order to save him from eventual destruction, Buddhist priests covered his body in sacred texts but they forget to cover his ears. When a ghost came to fetch Hoichi, the sacred writing prevented him from seeing the biwa player save for his two ears which he ripped from Hoichi’s head.
wickedly sweet witch
Transformer chick – wearing less than meets the eye
Christon Cafe – a church-themed restaurant and club
Adrien le Danois – Founder of Tokyo Decadance
Cap’n Blackjack Dave on the prowl for booty
pirate with fetish poster
Is Tokyo Decadance a Biohazard?
Cutie devil makes going to hell seem fun
Goth Geisha girl with coffin handbag
pink petite maid
A cake with endowments for Tokyo Decadance’s 4th Anniversary
Cap’n Blackjack Dave bemused and bewigged
Cute Cop ready to lay down the law
The stuff of nightmares…
Naughty Nurse, Sultry Wednesday, Zombie Bride, and Goth Geisha Vampire
The 2nd Annual Tokyo Youtube Hanami Party was held Sunday March 29th in Yoyogi Park.
A number of Youtubers located in Tokyo and elsewhere gathered in Yoyogi Park – the park next to the Goth Maids and the dancing Rockabilly Elvises.
Hanami is the Japanese tradition of gathering under cherry blossoms to eat, drink, and be merry.
We had KFC chicken, Krispy Kreme donuts, ramen, beer, and Chu-Hi.
Here people talk about what they like about the Hanami tradition.
Also check these videos from last year’s event:
Pre-Youtube Hanami in Ueno Park at night:
Post-Youtube hanami at a Hub Pub in Shibuya:
Decadent XXXMAS with Tokyo Decadance
The Naughty List Gets Longer
Here are some photos from Tokyo Decadance’s Christmas Bash. Santa, Elfs, Angels, Snow Spirits, and what-nots made the Yule-Tide warm and gay this past holiday season!
Santa Having a Jolly Good Time at Tokyo Decadance
A couple of Santa’s Helpers who help the old fellow rise to the occasion
Santa goes in for giving pain instead of presents this year
Mrs. Claus lets it all hang loose
A Elfin Vixen brazenly breaks the North Pole Smoking Ban
Christmas always come early with these two
Whoa, Elf look like a Lady!
Santa in Black
Generous partiers had given their clothing to the needy
On the Naughty List since ’95
Christmas on Mars
A Crossdressing Mexican Japanese Santa
A Santa for the 21st Century
A Vampire Gets Into the Holiday Spirit
Yuki Onna (Japanese Snow Woman) enjoying the party
Unwrapping these presents will be a tad bit difficult
This Angel will shove the Christmas Tree up your *** instead
Post Apocalyptic Santa
A Snow Sprite Taken by Surprise
This Nun uses more than rulers to dish out punishment
Two Xmas Vixens demonstrate the Spirit of Giving and Receiving as a Barechested Man looks on
Imagine finding this wrapped up under your Christmas Tree?
Santa was busy stuffing stockings this night
I was in the Kansai/Nagoya area recently to take in a geisha performance in Kyoto and to tour a castle or two in the Nagoya area.
While I was there I met Maggie and her owner Gimmeabreakman from Youtube. Gimmeabreakman interviewed me on the controversial Tokyo Yamanote Halloween Train which caused quite a bit of furor on the internet. Internet denizens were either up in arms against it or that they missed it.
Here I discuss how overly-demonized the event is and how many people are just experiencing internet faux rage over something that they probably never heard before they saw it on youtube or some other forum
Cops, Nerds, and Halloween Trains
The Tokyo Yamanote Halloween Train serves up another saucy bit of fun
The Joker is a scream at the Yamanote Halloween Train party
The infamous Tokyo Yamanote Halloween Train rode yet once more this year despite fears of police crackdowns and potential violence from frustrated internet nerds. The Tokyo Yamanote Halloween Train is an unofficial semi-traditional event going back over 20 years where foreigners and Japanese in costume party on the Yamanote Train Line which loops through Tokyo.
Now, I’ve ridden this notorious public transportation menace a fair few times (four times as of now), and I must say this time was as nerve-wracking as it was exhilarating. Each time I’ve ridden the Halloween Train, it’s been fun but this time things were a bit more tense than before.
The few, the proud, the loud
Looming over the party atmosphere was the specter of the Akihabara murder-spree this past summer where a deranged man killed seven people with his vehicle and knife. Prior to doing so, he had posted on the internet that he would do so. Akihabara is a mecca for the anime otaku or Japanese animation nerd.
Otaku (nerds/geeks/dorks) are the pariah of Japan. They have been scapegoated for social ills sometimes unfairly and sometimes not. Many are just harmless individuals who just like anime and manga while indulging in a bit of cosplay now and then. These types lack the anger and alienation of other otaku whose behavior rather than their particular obsession sets them apart. The killer Kato Tomohiro is seen as one of these types who finally gave into his dark twisted inner nature.
Tengu – Japanese long-nosed Goblin
Our gathering was small for several reasons. One, there was little advance warning; two, it was rather early for Halloween being the 25th; three, there was worry the police would shut it down and arrest participants; and four, there was fear of violence from 2channel people.
Japan Man takes a Swig
2channel or Nichannel/Nichan is a Japanese internet community that is known for its outspoken members. Because of its complete anonymous nature, it attracts a certain number of individuals who slander and defame businesses, political figures, and celebrities. These individuals are often described as extremely conservative, angry, xenophobic, vindictive, and incapable of functioning in the real world.
In 2007 when certain 2channel members learned about the Halloween Train event, they saw red and plastered websites which mentioned the event with obscenities and violent threats. Japanprobe was hit especially hard as someone had posted an invite there to the Halloween Train and 2chan people assumed Japanprobe was sponsoring the event. Two commentators stood out at the time – one who threaten to blow away the trains and one who said he would go there with a knife.
After the Akihabara tragedy, such threats are no longer passed off as empty threats made by internet nerds who never leave their computer. There is a dark side to the otaku culture of frustrated young men angry at society, with their lives, and with their lack of human contact. Generally lashing out through their online personas is enough for many of them but for some it hasn’t and what Japan may experience is more internet-fueled rages in the real world.
We can’t reach our Beer!
The Halloween Train was packed with police most of them undercover while at the major stations a dozen uniformed police stood waiting. Some of us began to worry our night of merry mayhem would end in a Japanese jail cell and possible deportation. As it turns out, the police were less there because of us but more there because of the potential threat the 2channel users posed.
A Japanese maid chants station names
Due to their hatred for the Halloween Train event some 2channel members actually made the ultimate sacrifice of prying themselves away from their cyber fantasy worlds and entering the cold harsh realm called the real world. They came to our event but they certainly weren’t there to partake in the festivities. One of them tried to make off my bottle of Campari when I offered to him in a gesture of good will. I had to wrestle it out of his hand to get it back.
A police sign telling us not to … do something
The 2channel members were easy to spot as while other passengers just ignored the event going on around them, the 2channel people defiantly ignored the event going on around them. Some of them though harassed Japanese participants of the Halloween Train questioning their love of their home country and other nationalistic jingoism.
The Joker during a serious moment
Heath Ledger’s Joker is a frightening psychotic character and we had a Joker on our train complete with knife (fake). However, one regular-looking 2channel member proved to be far more frightening than our lovable clown-face psycho. When asked by a Halloween Train participant if he liked peace, he replied that he liked war and that he wanted to kill the participant. Immediately, in this packed train, that 2channel fellow found ample space around him as people recoiled in horror. Flashes of AKihabara went through many minds and through it all the placid expression on his face did not change – all the more frightening.
An undercover policeman inquired about the incident and let it be known that they were more here to protect the party participants from the 2channel members. This may strike one as strange that the police would willingly protect an event what some have condemned as hooliganism and even terrorism but one has to understand that this event has been going on for well over 20 years. It happens once a year (usually) and in recent times lasts only an hour or so. The worse that happens is some lights are turned off and some people get on the luggage rack.
Hey, Mom! I’m on the Tokyo Yamanote Halloween Train!
On the other side of the equation we have this subculture of embittered socially-awkward young men with chips on their shoulders who after the Akihabara incident are capable of doing far worse than turn off a few lights. Reportedly in 2007 after the Halloween Train event which started in Shinjuku and had police and otaku alike some party participants were beaten afterwards.
As for the Halloween Train, it was a bit more low key than previous ones but we did our usual station chanting. Hamamatsucho Station, however, defeated our best efforts. It’s hard getting a group of inebriates to chant multi-syllabic words. We ran into a slight snag at Osaki station. Although the Yamanote Line loops around Tokyo, not all its trains do. Some stop in Osaki and are switched out. We happened to be on one such train though we didn’t know it. We thought at first they were shutting down the train like they did with the Shinjuku Halloween Train last year.
Fortunately, it was a routine shutdown. We simply crossed over to the other side and grabbed another train going the same direction. Half of the group went over to the other platform and took a train in the direction we had just came no doubt surprising the police at the stations we had already left. Once again two Halloween Trains were on the loose and chaos reigned.
Another amusing note to the evening was the presence of a vocal foreign critic to our soiree. Buried beneath the press of passengers, photographers, and nerds, was our moral compass. Periodically we would hear over the din, the shrill nasally cry of “you shouldn’t be drinking on the train!” and “you shouldn’t be shouting!” even though he himself was shouting. I’m not sure what he got out of it but if it made him happy, good for him.
Our train party decided to exit at Ueno despite originally stating we would do so at Ikebukuro. This was to throw off any unwanted welcoming parties that might been waiting for us in the shadows outside the station. We received a celebrity sendoff by a mob of photographers. They formed a semi-circle and snapped away like we were rock stars. With the police protection, stalkers, and photographers and our larger-than-life behavior we kind of were rock stars.
Yamanote Halloween Train Paparazzi – “No Autographs!”
We finally got out of the station after having hundreds of photos taken of us by reporters and passerbys and celebrated out success (and survival) over a few cold ones. Scarily enough, we still had a few 2channel members tailing us. Two undercover cops were there though to make sure they didn’t try anything.
So another successful and highly interesting Yamanote Halloween Train went down in the annals of Tokyo lore. I cannot say truthfully if this was the proverbial “the” Tokyo Yamanote Halloween Train as another may still run in the near future but I can say this was definitely “A” Tokyo Yamanote Halloween Train and I was glad not to have missed it.
- Japanese Bowing Deer of Nara
- Outdoor Sumo at Yasukuni Shrine
- Samurai Girls Do Battle!!!
- Sumo – Hakuho vs Harumafuji at Outdoor Sumo Event at Yasukuni Shrine
- Samurai Warlord’s Kyoto Cherry Blossom Festival – Taiko Hanami Gyoretsu
- Samurai Battle Festival – Battle of Sekigahara Festival
- Japanese St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Harajuku, Tokyo
- Japanese Devils Beat You For Good Luck on Setsubun
- Wakakusayama Yaki – Japanese Mountain Fire Festival in Nara
- Giant Japanese Snake Festival
- Happy New Years 2013 From Tokyo!!!
- Merry Christmas from Japanese Girls!
- 2008 Presidential Race
- 47 Ronin
- action figures
- air combat
- ako gishi
- ako roshi
- american pop culture
- Amy Fisher
- ancient egypt
- Aoba Matsuri
- aomori prefecture
- armistice day
- Ashikaga Yoshimasa
- Battle of Hastings
- beautiful girls
- belly dancing
- Bill Murray
- blowing bubbles
- Bon Odori
- bull fighting
- Burger King
- california energy crisis
- celtic music
- Charles Schultz
- Charlie Brown
- cherry blossoms
- chinese food
- Christmas in the Trenches
- Christmas Truce
- chuck norris
- classical music
- clock tower
- Coming of Age Day
- culture day
- current tv
- Current TV Promo
- Dairokuten-no-Hadaka Matsuri
- Date Masamune
- design festa
- Don't Know Why
- drift ice
- Earth Celebration
- easter bunny
- easter eggs
- Eastern Europe
- eine kleine nachtmusik
- english teacher
- english teaching
- enron scandal
- Ernest Hemingway
- european history
- extreme sports
- Eyeball Love Globe
- fertility festival
- Festival of Ages
- fire dancing
- Fire Department
- fire festival
- fire twirling
- Fire Walking
- flying saucers
- Funekko Nagashi
- Geisha Dance
- Gempei War
- Genghis Khan
- Ghost Stories
- GI Joe
- girls kissing
- global warming
- Golden Dragon
- Golden Dragon Dance
- Golden Fleece
- Golden Week
- Goth Girls
- goth lolita
- government cover-up
- Graham Hancock
- Great Pumpkin
- great pyramid
- Groundhog Day
- gun control
- Harold Godwinson
- heavy metal
- heike monogatari
- Hello Kitty
- High School Musical
- horse racing
- Hosokawa Sansai
- ice sculptures
- Ii Naomasa
- Iwate Swan
- Japan Earthquake
- Japan Vlogger
- Japanese Anime
- japanese archery
- japanese beer
- japanese beer vending machine
- japanese culture
- japanese emperor
- Japanese festival
- japanese folklore
- japanese ghost stories
- Japanese Ghosts
- Japanese girls
- japanese goldfish scooping
- japanese history
- Japanese Horror
- japanese imperial palace
- Japanese martial arts
- Japanese subculture
- Japanese Tea Ceremony
- Jean-Michel Jarre
- Jidai Matsuri
- job searching
- John McCutcheon
- Kamakura Matsuri
- kamogawa odori
- kenneth lay
- kingyo sukui
- Lafcadio Hearn
- Lee Van Cleef
- light saber
- Lost in Translation
- marine life
- Mark Twain
- martial arts
- Master Ninja
- meiji shrine
- Metropolis Magazine
- Middle Ages
- Middle East
- moira cameron
- momote shiki
- Monica Lewinsky
- monster trees
- mounted archery
- movie review
- mt. kurama
- Mt. Zao
- music concert
- music videos
- musicians in Japan
- Mystery Science Theater 3000
- Naked Festival
- never gonna give you up
- New Age
- New Age music
- New Year's Eve
- New Years
- Nick Zappetti
- night out
- Ninja movies
- Nishimonai Bon Odori
- Norah Jones
- November 11th
- octopus garden
- ogasawara ryu
- OJ Simpson
- Only in Japan
- Osu Kannon
- penis festival
- plum blossom
- pop culture
- Power Rangers
- Presidential Debate
- Project Blue Book
- red baron
- remembrance day
- rick astley
- rick roll
- Ringo Starr
- rio de janeiro
- rock band
- Rodger Swan
- Roller Derby
- Rolly Teranishi
- Roving Ronin Report
- Sado Island
- San Fermin
- San-San-Ku Tebasami Shiki
- sansa odori
- santa claus
- sapporo beer
- Sarah Michelle Gellar
- Scarlett Johansson
- Science Fiction/Double Feature
- Sea of Okhotsk
- sea shepard
- secret commonwealth
- Sen no Rikyu
- seven cycle theory
- seven patty Whopper
- sho kosugi
- snow festival
- snow gleaming
- snow lantern festival
- snow monkey
- sofia coppola
- soma nomaoi
- Spanish Culture
- Sports News
- St. Patrick's Day
- star wars
- street musicians
- sugawara no michizane
- Suzume Odori
- tachi neputa
- tall tales
- terrorism. WTC
- The Beatles
- The Grudge
- The Ring
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show
- The Sushi Cabaret Club
- three kingoms
- tokugawa ieyasu
- tokyo decadance
- Tokyo Design Festa
- tokyo imperial palace
- Tokyo Kuyo-Kai
- Tokyo Swan
- Tokyo Tower
- Tonya Harding
- tower of london
- toyotomi hideyoshi
- traditional art
- true ghost stories
- Umm Khulthum
- Umm Kulthum
- Urban Tap
- veterans day
- virginia tech
- Vlad Tepes
- William the Conqueror
- Windows 7
- World Cup
- World Trade Center
- world war I
- xmas. holidays
- yamanote halloween train
- Yamanote Train
- yasakuni shrine
- yasukuni shrine
- yeoman warder
- Youtube Gathering
- yuki matsuri
- Yuki Onna
- yukiakari no michi
- yushima tenjin
- Zao Onsen