4 nightclub operators arrested for allowing dancing


Police said Monday they have arrested four operators of a club in Nishi-Azabu, Tokyo, for allowing patrons to dance, even though the club did not have a license.

Fuji TV reported that Bar MUSE manager Yuki Takano, 37, DJ Kazunari Tanaka, 39, and two others were arrested after a raid at around 2 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Bar MUSE is one of the biggest clubs in the area and is usually open until 5 a.m.

According to police, they have received many complaints from neighbors about the loud noise coming from the club and also reports of fights outside the club.

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I've had many good flings thanks to Muse. Hopefully this doesn't meant the absolute end of it. If so...RIP. Although if it means the 2 rude thugs manning the entrance lose their jobs, I guess that's the silver lining.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Natsukashii! I remember when I was the king of Muse, but those days are long past! But such memories, being young and in Japan with stacks to spend. Now it's golf with this or that corporate honcho or vice minister...dull days compared to back then! Japan needs its own Kevin Bacon so young people can dream of getting back on that dance floor!

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

This is Japan. You are not allowed to have any fun unless your idea of fun is to be worked to death or sit in a black van and scream through a loudspeaker outside the train station. Dancing? Forget it. Its meiwaku. It upsets the wa.

18 ( +25 / -7 )

Judge: You are being charged with the crime of allowing people to dance and enjoy themselves, in other words you allowed them to have fun. How do you plea?

Accused: Guilty. And you are welcome!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

What's wrong with dancing?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

You need a license to dance?

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I believe it's laws that go back to the war... those that were dancing after midnight were prostitutes and so therefore it was illegal to dance. The laws still exist today and are flouted on regular basis.

Stupid law though.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Article states: "Police said Monday they have arrested four operators of a club "

It's very dangerous for the patrons to dance after midnight in Japan. Since Japan has 99 percent conviction rate, the court should put these people in jail. Police have their priority right. By the way, any off duty police officer caught dancing?

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

And yet ask them to arrest the bosozoku or black vans for their insane amount of noise and disturbances and see what happens (answer: nothing).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Does that mean we'd need a license to dance in the street? Not that I'm planning to for a while (unless I win the lottery) but just wondering!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

hope the book is thrown at them...imagine that allowing dancing...just so irresponsible....hanging is to good for them..

9 ( +10 / -1 )

We can dance if we want to We can leave your friends behind Cause your friends don't dance And if they don't dance Well they're no friends of mine.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Someone didn't pay their dues

2 ( +5 / -3 )

S s s s s A a a a F f f f E e e e T t t t Y y y y safety dance. Slumdog you rock!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And I thought this country couldn't get any weirder O_o Can't believe you need a License for Dancing of all thing...what does that mean I need a license to dance down the street when i'm wearing my headphones?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I can understand the neighborhood feeling edgy with night disturbances, but what on earth does it have to do with indoor dancing??? Give me a BREAK!!!!!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Funny news day...

4 nightclub operators arrested for allowing dancing


X-rated Japanese erotica takes center stage at UK museums

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"Shall we dance ?" (The King and I...)

Absolutely ridiculous law ! I met my first love at a dance-hall in Gaikoku. Great place for meeting people and good exercise too ! (Anyone remember the Twist ?)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

regardless of how idiotic and archaic the law is, why didn't muse just get a license for dancing? i mean, they've been open for well over a decade, and every bar owner knows that it's illegal to "dance" after midnight.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Bring back the old discos that used to lflorish all over in the 70's.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

why didn't muse just get a license for dancing?

If they did, they'd have to close at midnight.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Leo Sayer had a song once - you know I can't dance, you know I can't dance you know I can't dance, you know I can't dance I can't dance Seems he knew about the dumb laws in Tokyo,

probably isihara is laughing at these fools who thought they could dance in Tokyo. It is illegal to have fun in Tokyo you must be solem.

By the way do you need a license to drive round in a big black truck spouting right wing propaganda?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Anyone know if this is a national law or a municipal by-law. I do know that I've signed petitions against it from time to time, mostly around Harajuku - Yoyogi Koen. Now that there is being a crack down, perhaps it's time for a bigger movement to over turn this silly archaic law.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Someone didn't pay off the Yakuza. Bar Muse is dive these days anyway so I'm guessing the police wanted to make a show of it all.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Hopefully tourists coming here for the Olympics in a few years will be given reading material about appropriate dancing areas after midnight. Might I also suggest a colorful mascot, Dancy the dancing bear, whose image would be on a sign outside appropriate dancing locations, while a crying version of Dancy would be outside places without a dancing license.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What is nightclub if no dancing? Why have DJ if no dancing? I think someone did not pay a don't-notice money to a police. Many large black gentlemen in Roppongi don't mind a law about stopping passer-bys in a street and say "Hey, you want come my titty bar?" It's also crime but police don't stop.

That is in a street. Usually people can't walk on a street, but police do nothing. Why people can't dance in a nightclub with a DJ when they already paid to enjoy music?

Exactly, this is no fun zone.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I used to be in Roppongi / Azabu every Sat night and let me tell you, since this ridiculous law passed I have not been back. The place has completely changed (and in turn, the clubs have changed hands multiple times over)!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

rickyvee, you cant 'just get a license' to allow dancing. They are only granted to arenas and places with a dancefloor area greater than 66sqm (much bigger than a typical Japanese club can secure). And on top of that even with those licenses to dance, you are only allowed to operate until midnight.

I believe that is why Ageha is registered as a restaurant, not a night club. Somewhat different rules there apparently

2 ( +4 / -2 )

if dont like sound disturbances, dont rent an apartment close to the commercial entertainment district! haha there are reasons why your rent is unbelievably cheep. Stop complaining or move out. Japan night club law is absurd to the max.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Muse was closed down once before (rumour was gang links and minor drug offences - management changed and place was refurbished and re-opened, likely the cops weren't being properly bribed). looks like management forgot to pay the right cops or yaks again. Yes, it can be noisy at closing time. wasn't aware it was very fighty though. doormen are bit dour but not that bad, surely.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Where is Kevin Bacon during all this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

errrrrr Whats wrong with dancing? Only Robots have license to Dance?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The pathetic thing is no body does anything about these draconian laws.... Japan culture is limp

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Here's info about the law and its results:

2 ( +3 / -1 )


66sqm isn't that big. that's the size of a 2LDK in japan. and if you've ever been to Muse, that place was spacious enough if they had remodeled it correctly. and in the 10 years that i went there, that place went through several renovations. but granted, the midnight and 1am curfew is still a drag.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I used to be in Roppongi / Azabu every Sat night and let me tell you, since this ridiculous law passed I have not been back

The law has always been there since the 80's, the police just decided to crack down.

But I'm guessing when the Olympics come the law will be removed because Japan will notice how stupid it is when everyone complains about it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

These nightclub operators had it the wrong way round. You don't ask the police directly who to pay. You pay the Yakuza and they pay the police. Duh.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Meanwhile the bosozoku continue to run riot, running red traffic lights is a national pastime, kids and adults ride bicycles on the wrong side of the road with no lights etc. etc. all of which are a danger to life and limb because the police do nothing about it; they are too busy chasing nightclub owners who allow dancing!

The Japanese police are beneath contempt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are similar laws in the books in New York city that bars dancing in establishments that don't have the proper licenses. Both Tokyo and New York need to revisit the purpose of these laws.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And in other news, 20 people were taken to Roppongi police station having been charged with smiling in a public place. A police spokesman said they had been acting in a joyous fashion likely to cause mass happiness if allowed to continue.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Thanks, "The Original Wing" for that article link. Well researched and very informative. I recommend everyone read it and then follow along to the "Let's Dance" website ( and the petition:

0 ( +0 / -0 )

2am is too early, atleast they could have waited for people to finish up.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think the only places i can go to dance are WOMB in Shibuya and Studio Coast at Shin Kiba. That's all.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I wonder how they will tell the people who will come here for the Olympics that dancing is not allowed and where it is allowed they have to leave by midnight. Maybe Japan needs larger prisons... Pathetic!!! What a stupid law!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

43 messages and no Footloose references? Sheesh.....

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Only Robots have license to Dance?

Not even robots do that dance anymore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most stupid Japanese law in history. Ridiculous.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@SuperLib It's in the first comment!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I nearly spat out my coffee reading this. In the 1970s the BBC produced a comedy show called "The Goodies". One of the episodes: "Saturday Night Grease" was about a draconian government ban on mixed dancing... it was funny because it was so extremely silly... and yet here we are, dancing outlawed in a nightclub.

Not sure whether to laugh or allow my jaw to drop to the flaw in amazement...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

REALLY? come on! REALLY?!?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I imagine that dancing after midnight is legal even in North Korea.

Requiring a licence for dancing on safety grounds isn't unreasonable. It's the universal time-limit which is so ludicrous here. If it's safe to dance at 23:59, it should be safe to dance at 24:00

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What is this, 1955 and Elvis is in town? Now I can’t get Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” out of my head.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And they said Japan is a free country. Haha...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@The Original Wing

Thanks a lot for the link, it was very informative. I didn't know about this incredibly silly law, even with a license, clubs must close at 0:00 am or 1:00 am. That makes zero sense, that's the time people go to clubs.

And I am quite puzzled. I live in Sapporo and all the clubs I know (there are not much of them here) close at 4:00 or 5:00 am. Obviously they can't stay open to that time with this license, so does that mean that they are not getting the license that permits dancing and are basically illegal? So is the police in Sapporo closing its eyes? Until then? Going after this clubs would mean no clubs at all in Sapppro anymore.

Now, I can't stress enough how strong this king of law goes against freedom of people and if they are strarting to really enforce it, possibly pursing public moral, Japan is not looking good at all. And think about it one second. The police (government) is going after people doing nothing wrong than giving a place for people to dance and a have fun. But they did nothing for the people who are responsible for the Fukushima disaster. Some nationalists are calling for mass murdering of coreans and the police and the government do nothing about it. What they do instead is trying to remove a basic freedom, the right to go dancing until sunrise.

Not good at all. Maybe it's time to leave after all... Sad to see what Japan is turning to.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It's called a cabaret license. This is what led to the demise of the N.Y. club scene, it is very very expensive it can go as high as 1000,000 if not more depending on the size of the club. There are also the new quality of life standard,s as well. I grew up in NYC going to clubs such as paradise garage, Mars, Horatio 1018, Nells, Danceteria , The World, and even CBGB,s. These are just a few of the great clubs that no longer exist. It's sad to see this happening in Tokyo. The Room is still my favorite spot in Tokyo to go to. It has not been shut down for dancing as of yet but I have heard rumors.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

isn't it only after 1am? two friends of mine were locked up for a couple of weeks a few years back because of this insanely dumb and very old law. they managed to keep their clubs after paying a relatively hefty fine, but it was a shitty xmas for them nonetheless.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is such a ridiculous rule.

But I guess it's ok for all the Oba-san's and Oji-chan's to get loud & crazy with the Kareoke, but dancing in a bar is forbidden?

And especially if a foreigner does it, it's like "Uh Oh Gaijin's having a good time! Call the Cops and check their visa's!"

And I've seen plenty of salary men get drunk and start fights on the streets and pass out on the trains.

I think these "neighbors" are just blowing things all out of proportion as usual.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Here is a note to the neighbors: if you don't like loud noises in the middle of the night, don't live near a NIGHT club.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Itachi gokko, ferrets chasing each other's tails. Whatever is decided as law, the Ys will test the limits of it and post lookouts to warn of any police busts. I guess police patience finally wore thin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

no licence and still continuing the fun ? hmm loud is ok maybe but running a business without licence totally a crime ....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The law is not that old, and has been enforced from time to time over the years, usually when a club has too many other problems, fights , underage , drugs and noise complaints. Bar Isn't its? were around in the 90s and they were named that way to confuse the issue , they also checked IDs at the doors to keep out under 20 year olds even though the law allows 18+ into bars, But they need to be 20 to drink. If you get a licence to dance you must close at mid-night , the same law is applicable to Pachinko and soaplands ( even though soaps are supposed to be illegal ) and was introduced to stop promiscuity amongst the young, After reading the other article about the youn g no longer having sex, maybe they need to allow dancing after Mid night .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

shut it down, problem solve.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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