Lately, it seems like every time we psych ourselves up to go back to writing our usual knob gags (that we stay up all night coming up with for you), some serious and/or groundbreaking news comes along that demands our attention and, alas, knob gag restraint:
Yesterday, a hard right, ultra-nationalist group known as the Zaitokukai (roughly translated as: “Citizens Against the Special Privileges of Koreans in Japan”) held a meeting of around 100 members in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district, with a demonstration march planned directly after.
Much to the surprise and chagrin of the Zaitokukai, however, they found themselves outnumbered three to one by a huge cluster of counter-protesters holding anti-racist signs and shouting down the right wingers as they marched. Taken together with the momentous J-League punishment of the Urawa Reds for racist fan behavior doled out last week, this clash falls just shy of marking a new trend in Japanese anti-racist sentiments, but it certainly points to an increased dialogue on the topic – possibly in light of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Professional photographer and TokyoDesu friend Kjeld Duits was there to photograph the events as they unfolded and has graciously given us permission to post them here:
(for reference, the side holding the rising sun flags are, unsurprisingly, the Zaitokukai.)
This is the kind of stuff that makes us proud to call Tokyo home.
About the photographer: Kjeld Duits is a journalist and photographer that has lived in Japan long enough to cover the 1995 Kobe Earthquake. He runs a number of popular Japan blogs and can be reached via Twitter or his Facebook page.
*All photos are used with the express permission of the photographer. Unauthorized use of the above photographs is prohibited.