crime

American tourist arrested for scrawling graffiti in Shibuya

64 Comments

A 27-year-old American tourist has been arrested for scrawling graffiti on the wall at a construction site in Tokyo’s Shibuya area, police said Thursday.

According to police, Brendan Michael Tracy, who arrived in Japan on Nov 3, has been charged with vandalism after he used a black marker pen to scrawl graffiti on the white wall at the construction site in Udagawacho at around 3 a.m. Wednesday, Fuji TV reported. He wrote the letters NYC and then drew some squiggles.

A police officer on patrol apprehended Tracy. Police said Tracy, who was drunk at the time, has admitted to the charge. 

Police said there has been an increase in graffiti in the Shibuya area recently and have stepped up patrols.

© Japan Today

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

64 Comments
Login to comment

Been a few Westerners arrested lately for spraying Graffiti in Japan .

12 ( +13 / -1 )

20 years hard labor ?

3 ( +10 / -7 )

20 years hard labor ?

This is Tokyo, not St. Petersburg.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Idiots... probably tags walls at home in Noo Yoik as well.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

another idiot. Lock him up and throw away the key.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

Shoplifting in Beijing and graffiti-ing in Tokyo? A  new low-budget tourist will be hitting Asia in time for the Olympics.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Wow! Not sure graffiti should make national news. I guess need to make an example of foreigners to keep them in their place.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

if you're in tokyo and ride the yamanote between shinjuku and shinagawa, you'll see tons of graffiti sprayed along the walls. i really hate the idiots who do this. japan needs to nip this in the bud before it spreads everywhere. and when they catch the idiots who are doing this, make them clean it up as part of the punishment

23 ( +24 / -1 )

@Nanda, if you mean the UCLA players, they were helped out bigly by the leader of the "free" world. Trump even insisted that they thank him for taking their case all the way to President Xi. Of course it would be nice to know what secret back-room promises led to that outcome. Too bad (or thank goodness) this tag writing fool probably doesn't have the same connections as, say, a member of the Ball family/industry.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@nakanoguy01:

graffiti in urban settings doesn't really bother me. I see it as kind of art and a release of tension usually from young kids. If someone spray paints my car or house, or something really vulgar that is a different story.

Also, I like fallen leaves, but many Japanese seem to be horrified if there is a fallen leave in the street or on their road.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

He wrote the letters NYC and then drew some squiggles.

Another lame example of cultural imperialism.

Seriously, this is tagging and is always an eyesore. Real graffiti is urban art and is something else, entirely.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Make him clean up for a few hours but that should be about it.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Permanent Japan ban at the very least, 30 years hard labor and family fine at the tune of few hundred thousand usd..., well publicized too.. that will prevent all those imbeciles from doing this crap abroad.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Police said there has been an increase in graffiti in the Shibuya area recently and have stepped up patrols.

Recently?? Well, if 20 years ago can be described as recently, then yes. Graffiti is also bad in neighboring Meguro Ward, especially on the shutters of old buildings. Japan does not seem to use x number of hours of public service as a penalty for vandalism. If they did, these morons could be handed rags and turpentine and put to work expunging their unslightly scrawls.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

graffiti in urban settings doesn't really bother me. I see it as kind of art and a release of tension usually from young kids. If someone spray paints my car or house, or something really vulgar that is a different story.

well, the same holds for me if they spray painted your house or car, i would think that was art but you wouldn't. the problem with this type of art is twofold. one, this "art" is in the eye of the beholder. second, this type of art, where young kids "harmlessly" release their tensions on buildings and walls, usually doesn't stop at buildings and walls. next you'll see it on buses, trains and your beloved house or car. kids will be kids so their sense of control is quite limited. and i'm a huge subscriber to the broken glass theory of crime. one small crack will inevitably lead to other cracks and so on. so nip this in the bud before it spreads.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Welcome to Norman Rockwell country. Maybe now he understands that this is not the postmodern mess he came from.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Scrawling or spraying big colourful words on walls isn't art... it's vandalism, just as much as using a sharpie on a wall is vandalism. As others have said, bottle of turps and a toothbrush should sort the bugger out.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Beauty is in the eye and all that. On another thread we see that someone has forked out silly money for a painting. Who's to say that the graffiti some scorn at won't one day be seen as a movement?

So, it's not renaissance art but there is so much room and scope as to what constitutes art.

Personally, I can appreciate "traditional" along with the likes of Basquiat, Warhol, Keith Haring, Dali, Ernst etc.

I won't claim to understand them, though. It's all subjective and down to personal intepretation.

Still missing Stik's work. I think it would brighten up some of the more drab buildings here.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Who's to say that the graffiti some scorn at won't one day be seen as a movement?

What does it matter? If you feel the urge to indulge in artistic expression, fine, buy yourself a sketchbook or a canvas and knock yourself out. If you absolutely must scribble on a wall, that's fine, too - so long as it's your wall.

Don't scribble, daub, spray or otherwise sully anyone else's wall.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Japan didn't have graffitti until the 1990s, when I was in junior high. SMAP had a graffitti corner in their weekly program, and then graffitti started to appear. Thanks SMAP! The problem with graffitti here in Japan is that it is so lousy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I like nice graffiti. I think it gives a city a bit of flavour, and you can see some amazing art sometimes.

Sounds like this guy was just writing some crap on a wall though. That I'm not a fan of.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Toasted Heretic

If someone sprays “NYC” you see it as Western Imperialism or an example of it??

Now Ive heard it all

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

This guy was just writing where he was from, NYC. Hardly the stuff we associate to graffiti, which IMO, is selfish fake art, and people who do that should be arrested and fined. This guy should just get a warning and have him clean it off. It was a construction wall, not a permanent building.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

If someone sprays “NYC” you see it as Western Imperialism or an example of it??

Now Ive heard it all

Indeed. But you didn't read it all (my post).

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Make him clean up graffiti for the rest of his stay.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

one of the reasons i came here is to escape graffiti and petty drug crime. skateboarding will feature in the olympics. as somebody who knows many skaters, their (people i know) sub culture is to spray. temples and shrines seem great targets. stay tuned.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I find graffiti very obnoxious. If he wanted to do it while drunk, there is a good chance he would also do it while sober.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is not graffiti. It's tagging.

It's a territorial, lazy way of expressing yourself.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

While I understand and agree with the calls for community service as a suitable punishment, it's not what happens in Japan. Community service like neighbourhood cleanups or weeding communal gardens are what responsible residents get to do as a matter of duty. You're not supposed to think of them as a "punishment".

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"... he used a black marker pen to scrawl graffiti on the white wall at the construction site .... he wrote the letters NYC and then drew some squiggles."

This is news?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

What a loser! Graffiti is so disrespectful.

Since he created filth, he should remove filth as a punishment.

My suggestion: may his tongue serve as a washlet wand for a week.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Personally I don’t mind at all if people tag stuff or do graffiti art.

If it’s on old bridges and cement blocks it’s cool and gives it character.

But if they spray someone’s property or deface something good looking that’s totally different.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Just another tourist on a drinking binge that had a bad idea....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This numpty comes to Japan and thinks it's ok.

Get him to clean the rest of the wall and us his time to, water on, scrub off, soap on, wipe off, the darn thing.

He sure ain't Banksi.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

vandalism after he used a black marker pen to scrawl graffiti

Who uses Sharpie to make graffiti?!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I wonder if he'll use the "I'm stressed" defense.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The harshest sentencing possible needs to be applied and published as a strong deterent to this B4 the larger influx of Olympic tourism begains. Large cities in the United States haven’t and it’s ramp it everywhere.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Not at all; the US is the birthplace of graffiti. Credit where credit is due.

Not quite.... graffiti was a thing many many centuries before the US was a thing...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graffiti#history

0 ( +1 / -1 )

RecklessNov. 16 04:49 pm JST Wow! Not sure graffiti should make national news. I guess need to make an example of foreigners to keep them in their place.

Most of us foreigners don't do stupid things like this. Hope you don't either, makes everyone else look bad.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I don't care what you think of graffiti, this is disgusting.

I know some of you will find this hard to believe, but the military taught me that I was a representative of my country and a guest wherever I was sent. I always did my best to blend in (as much as you can being a 5'10" ginger in Asia) with the locals and I was able to experience things my peers crying about being stuck in a foreign country never did.

When I travel now, I'm embarassed when I see US tourists like this acting like stereotypical Americans. I was in Tokyo during the US presidential election in a capsule hotel and a couple fellow Americans were falling down drunk yelling about how disgusting it was that Trump was elected (oh the irony). When I had to report in the middle of the night that these two idiots had destroyed and flooded the bathroom on our floor, I was horrified when the staff thought that I had done it. Forunately the night manager understood enough English that I could explain who was really responsible.

I may argue against the anti-US military sentiments on this board, but that does not mean I condone idiots like this reinforcing what people believe all Americans act like.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In Singapore this would earn him a few strokes of the cane.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Immature behaviour for a 27 year old.

He should certainly be made to clean it up, coupled with a warning regarding his future conduuct and told "grow up".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just throw the redneck in question out, there are more serious matters to attend to.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He should certainly be made to clean it up, coupled with a warning regarding his future conduct and told "grow up".

Maybe if he was 17, but at 27, he's already chosen his maturity level. He should receive whatever punishment is normal for someone caught vandalizing public property and then put on a plane out.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wish they would clam down on the Japanese kids in my neighborhood!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He wrote the letters NYC and then drew some squiggles.

hahahaha. "Squiggles"?

Stupid. Its idiots like this digested food in human form who gives other honest foreigners a bad rap by nationals.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just another tourist on a drinking binge that had a bad idea....

Not so, he must have taken the marker pen with him when he went out so he intended all along to do his so-called tagging. That is premeditated vandalism and I hope it's taken into account when he is sentenced.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They need to cane this idiot, like they did to that Yank a few years back in Singapore

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Much as I loathe tagging, violence will not solve anything. It is of use only to medieval and backward societies and those who get a thrill from inflicting pain.

Fine the perp and get him to scrub off the graffiti. He'll learn his lesson.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He's an idiot yes but at least he didn't steal anything or harm anyone.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If someone spray paints my car or house, or something really vulgar that is a different story.

Sounds like you only care when it's your property? Is that what you meant? Graffiti in urban areas is written on somebody's property. It may be their house, or their business. Even if it's public property, no one person has the right to deface a public space without permission - whether it's "artful" or not. This is basic respect for each other as a society.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Require some hours of community service, as well as cleaning up what he did of course.

The other day visiting Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto, I was shocked to find so much graffiti carved into the bamboo at the little bamboo grove there. Almost every stalk in reach from the path was carved up. The languages used were mostly English and other European languages. Initials in hearts, "___ wuz here" etc. Really a shame the natural beauty of the bamboo is ruined. I'm glad they have the high brush walls at the Arashiyama grove so no one can reach the stalks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

idiot

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What was he thinking. Japan dislikes foreigners enough as it is, without people doing things like this. Does not set a good example at all and only reinforces the stereotype Japanese have of foreigners.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Obviously a noob. If he knew anything of Japan, he would have admitted he was drunk and had no recollection of anything else.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Fine the perp and get him to scrub off the graffiti. He'll learn his lesson.

No he won't. Look up the tagger named 'Chaka'. He was all over Los Angeles in the 80s & 90s. He was caught and sentenced to 1560 hours of community service. On the way out of the courthouse, he was caught tagging the courthouse elevator and arrested again before he even left the building.

People like this don't learn lessons by slapping their hand. If he wants to tag, then he's more than welcome to do it in NYC after hes dumped on a plane out of Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Use the “I dont remember” & “I deeply regret”, that should do the trick, he will be out in no time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At least he admitted to the charges, unlike SOME people cough cough who were drunk and can't remember anything.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Deportation at his own expense is the answer....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Another American coming over and making trouble. Knock off the antics. Your giving other hard working Americans who have been here for years a bad rap. If you are going to come to Japan or any other country for that matter. Have some common sense and sensitivity for the culture you are visiting. Now clean your mess. Bow and bow some more profusely while learning the word - Gomenasai- and go back, you hoodlum.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At least he admitted to the charges, unlike SOME people cough cough who were drunk and can't remember anything.

The drunks are the worst, true. I do a feel a certain amount of pity for them. I think they should have mandatory counselling in order to prevent repeat offending.

Not that it's any excuse for vandalism or violence.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But is it art?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm no fan of graffiti, but was this drawn on the temporary white-painted plywood surrounding the site? The one that is removed and resprayed for each project (the construction company next to my office lines them up and sprays them against their fence in the equipment yard below my window). If so, all this talk of jail time is idiotic. 50,000 yen fine and kick him out of the country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

fizzbit:

This guy was just writing where he was from, NYC.

So next time invite him to your apartment to write"NYC" on YOUR wall. The owner of the property did not ask him for his improvement. Lock him up and give him some time to think, I say.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites