Hi Blog. No doubt detractors will say I’m trying to “monster” yet another case of something into a case of racism. Hardly. But somebody needs to say it:
Japan Times article below has a recount of the recent spate of stabbings in Japan, particularly the shocking one yesterday of the Akihabara maniac who killed with a knife as if he had a gun. Despicable.
But the irony I also see in this horrible event is that a store in Akihabara–a knife and weapon shop, no less–has limited its customers to “Japanese Only”. Store called “MAD”, coordinates according to DR, the submitter: “on the main drag that runs parallel to the JR Yamanote line, inside the loop, on the opposite side of the street, at the far North end”. Here’s their address and website:
東京都 千代田区 外神田 ３丁目１６番１５号
Are “the authorities” being cited in the sign still going to make the case that non-Japanese customers are less safe than Japanese? The shopkeeps of “MAD” might. Let’s use this occasion to reflect a bit on how insanity and nationality are not linked. And my condolences to the families of the victims.
Received photos May 24, 2008, submitter says sign is still up. Japan Times article follows photos. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
UPDATE JUNE 9, 2008, AFTERNOON. I gave “Mad” a call this afternoon during their call-in window and spoke to a very friendly clerk. He said the sign is there because foreigners will only just have to give up their knives etc. once they reach Narita, so they’d be wasting their money. (He said the “authorities” referred to in the are air transport officials.)
I mentioned that there are many different types of NJ in Japan, and not all of their customers are simply leaving Japan afterwards. He said that they don’t mind selling to NJ with addresses in Japan as long as they present ID. I said that that’s not what the sign out front says, and suggested he change the sign to reflect what he just told me. He suggested we send him text for how the sign should be, via MAD’s fax number:
FAX MAD: 03 3255 0012
Go for it, readers. Arudou Debito
TWO MORE UPDATES CAN BE FOUND IN THE COMMENTS BELOW–MAD HAS AGREED TO ALTER THE SIGN
UPDATE JUNE 17, 2008: NEW SIGN IS UP (Photo by Arudou Debito)