crime

Attacks in Kobe, Osaka spark concerns over 'Knockout Game'

57 Comments
By Scott R Dixon

With so many cool toys coming to stores this year, it is hard to believe kids would be so bored that they create a game where the “players” score points for each real-world stranger they render unconscious. But two recent attacks in Kobe and Osaka are making Japanese game fans scared that the so-called “Knockout Game,” which has been widely reported in American media, has now landed on Japanese streets. Some academics are concerned that this is just another sign of America’s “society of violence” importing itself to Japan.

On Nov 30, a man struck a 21-year-old woman in the back of the head with a metal rod in Osaka. The attack took place at about 1 a.m. on a pitch-black street as the woman was returning home. According to people who live in the neighborhood, that street is particularly dark at night and even “seeing a child pass you can be scary.” Luckily the woman was able to run away from her attacker and alert the authorities. They took her to a hospital where she had seven stitches.

Just two days before, a similar attack happened in the nearby city of Kobe. A woman was attacked from behind on her way home late at night on a street with poor lighting.

But could this be the same “Knockout Game” that has garnered a huge amount of media attention in America?

In the American “game,” the attackers are usually teenagers who attempt to knock a random, usually unwitting and completely innocent, victim out with a single punch. Some police in America attribute the assaults to increased violence among youth while others see the crimes as horrific, but unrelated to a “knockout trend.” Other critics wonder if the whole story is another case of a “moral panic” in the media where isolated cases are strung together to create a terrifying myth.

A professor at Tokyo’s Chuo University pointed out that while these incidents happened in Japan late at night, a lot of the “Knockout Game” assaults in America happened in the middle of the day where security cameras caught the whole thing. The professor, Tetsuya Fujimoto, wondered if this blatant display of violence may spill over to Japan as the “violent society” of America becomes en vogue to Japanese youngsters.

Besides calling the assailants “cockroaches,” Japanese Internet commenters debated what role video games, if any, had in “creating” this apparent wave of assaults.

-- Was it because they couldn’t buy a PS4?

-- Too much Grand Theft Auto?

--It’s not video games they are imitating, but what they see in the news.

While some simply hopped on the Osaka-hating bandwagon, most were overall critical in the media’s handling of the attacks. They thought that having the word “game” attached to such brutal acts were making gullible young people who are much more likely to try it themselves.

-- When thugs see something like “Knockout Game” in the media, they are just going to be encouraged.

-- TV networks keep introducing things like this that people then go out and imitate. Don’t be surprised.

--The media is helping to perpetrate this “game” by promoting it so much.

Source: My Game News Flash

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Violent Panty Raider Arrested in Osaka Again -- American Soldier Suspected of Trespassing and Assaulting Student After Curfew -- Chinese Media in Japan Send Message Home: “Nothing Much to Report Here!”

© RocketNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

57 Comments
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I do not think its that at all. I think these are just random acts of violence by scumbags who have nothing to do and children who cant be controlled by their parents. And seriously putting this stuff and titling it as "game" on TV seriously will invite all sorts of thugs to try this so called "game" out.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

No, no. If you wanna label it, call it the "coward game" or "sc***bag hitting defenseless people". That is way more accurate!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

seriously, while this one trend may or may not be related to something going on in the U.S., violence is not something invented by the American people. Humankind has been violent since day one, we figured out ways to reign in this violence with societies and rules, but there is growing discontent among the youth in many countries. Instead of pointing fingers, the academics could live up to their titles and figure out why Japan is also experiences more and more youth that are not 'following the rules' anymore.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Something else Japan can try to blame on those damned foreigners!

17 ( +27 / -9 )

Some academics are concerned that this is just another sign of America’s “society of violence” importing itself to Japan.

Well then, those "academics" should shut up and stop being idiots. How can America be blamed for stupid, easily-influenced Japanese kids doing this? Don't try and shift the blame for idiots in your own country copying idiots in another.

Also, surely if it was "importing", the Japanese should be to blame, since America isn't "exporting" it...

13 ( +22 / -9 )

Personally I think that this has nothing to do with the "knockout game", and is just another symptom of an increasingly violent Japan. This is the result of an increasing wage gap, steadily decreasing job security, increasing costs (thanks Abe!), and a society where "gaman" is seen as a virtue, allowing no outlet to negative emotions and allowing bullies (both in the school and workplace) free rein.

ProbieDec. 09, 2013 - 08:08AM JST Also, surely if it was "importing", the Japanese should be to blame, since America isn't "exporting" it...

One of the U.S.'s greatest exports is its culture. If this article was about Rap or Hip Hop you'd have no problem admitting that these are exports of the U.S. You'd also have no problem admitting that these cultural exports help sell U.S. fashion, like Nike. However, when someone points out that these cultures exports also carry with them a culture of gangsterism, violence and contempt for the law you suddenly want to draw the line? ... sorry, it doesn't work that way. The U.S. has been actively exporting its culture globally for more than half a century now, and everyone knows it.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Liberal gunlaws would put an end to these stupid "knock out games" in a week or two. LOL...you know it's true,

-10 ( +12 / -22 )

So all it takes is two random attacks in different cities that apparently have nothing to do with each other and that is sufficient to say that Japan finds itself in the midst of a "wave of assaults"?

The knockout game myth has already been debunked in the US - the only thing the US is exporting to Japan in this case is shrill, panic inducing headlines that have no basis in reality.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

It's not a game its a crime and should be treated as such, anyone inflicting violence on another should be jailed for a lengthy period. As it stands violence is all too common and comes too easy from some, it should not be tolerated at all unless in self defence.

This random dumb game should be stopped and those initiating it locked up, no ifs buts or maybes. People have already been seriously hurt and killed as a result of this idiotic rubbish.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This article seems like a poor excuse to make some kind of local reference to the "Knockout Game." Disgraceful reporting.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

" How can America be blamed for stupid, easily-influenced Japanese kids doing this?"

A case of "monkey see - monkey do" perhaps, or weakminded twits copying something they heard about, but in actuality it's simply assault. Can't blame assaults on any one culture's influence. Blame the attacker, period. And don't blame the stick, pipe, or stone, either. It's a scumbag human.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I have a new game, it's called 'Hit the Knockout Game Assailants Upside their Heads with an Aluminum Baseball Bat Game'

Then watch the popularity of this crime lose steam Real fast!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

One, this "Knockout Game" is hardly indicative of any sort of "cultural" value held by American society, and is so limited in scope as to result in many questioning its actual existence at all. Random attacks on strangers is not a cultural export of any sort. It's a miniscule subset of bad people doing bad things and seeing their exploits magnified and mischaracterized in the media as something greater and more pervasive than they really are.

Two, "the Knockout Game" is derived from Happy Slapping, which finds its roots in Britain. Yet, I hear no calls to beware the corrosive influence of those violent Brits.

Random attack have been occurring in Japan for decades, and many of them are enough to make most American readers blink twice with a heartfelt, "WTF?!"

Ten minutes with the Internet will give us almost weekly random walk-by stabbings of school children and women, a liberal dose of groping on trains full of commuters, along with the occasional and sexual assault, assailants plowing through random shoppers in automobiles, and on occasion, getting out and stabbing to death anyone the car didn't finish off the first time around. Sarin gas attacks. The murder of an 11-year old school special needs child by a 14-year old, who then displayed his victim's severed head at the front gate to the school before morning classes.

There's plenty to choose from, with Japan locking down its own particular brand of weird and random violence down well and truly independent of Grand Theft Auto.

This article is nothing more than another tired, cliche attempt to place the blame for the ills of society somewhere other than where it squarely belongs, namely, at home.

14 ( +15 / -2 )

Two assaults on women in Japan and its Americas fault?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

First off, what really needs to be addressed is the false sense of security that these two women put themselves in. Young women, poorly lit streets, coming home at 1 am. These circumstances just invite trouble.

While "America's violent history", videogames, movies, etc may or may not give youths ideas of criminal acts, I believe it's way too simple to blame it on just that. These are unknown individuals who are committing heinous acts. What's going on in these peoples' lives, how they are raised, who their parents are, how they are treated by their peers, etc are in my opinion way more influential.

Lastly, we can sit around and debate where this is coming from, but no one bothers to think about what actions need to be taken in order to put a stop to this immediately.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Attacking women from behind. SauloJpn your right.

"coward game"

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Ah, must be America's fault... Never the fault of the locals.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

One of the U.S.'s greatest exports is its culture. If this article was about Rap or Hip Hop you'd have no problem admitting that these are exports of the U.S. You'd also have no problem admitting that these cultural exports help sell U.S. fashion, like Nike. However, when someone points out that these cultures exports also carry with them a culture of gangsterism, violence and contempt for the law you suddenly want to draw the line? ... sorry, it doesn't work that way. The U.S. has been actively exporting its culture globally for more than half a century now, and everyone knows it.

Did you hear that zoom? That was my point flying past you. You seem to have missed it.

My point is, America isn't "exporting" this. With rap and hip-hop ARE exported. Unless the U.S. had a group of thugs come over here and be "Knockout Game Ambassadors" (a bit extreme, but still) , you can't say they are "exporting" it. There is no active movement to spread this culture.

It is something that a few losers over here probably saw on YouTube, and decided to copy it. That isn't exporting. It's copying. And you can't blame a country for a few people in another country copying one tiny part of something that happens there.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The professor, Tetsuya Fujimoto, wondered if this blatant display of violence may spill over to Japan as the "violent society" of America becomes en vogue to Japanese youngsters.

It doesn't even say what he's a professor of, lol.

Its not just America, this is basically the same thing as happy slapping in the UK.

Anyway, we've heard a number of stories about sports coaches slapping kids silly here in Japan, maybe that's one example of a "blatant display of violence"?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

why would any teenager in Japan know what is going on in the USA? More likely this has been going on in Japan for a while and it has coincidentally made a rather tenuous connection at best

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Reports of the 'knockout game' been featured on programs on Japan TV recently. Plus, many uploaded videos on U-Tube & Facebook by the perpetrators themselves.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

These kids/adults need to be charged with Assault with intent to kill. Under 18 should be treated as an adult.

Btw, where are these 'neighborhood watch' people? Are they to lazy to go out at night to protect the neighborhood?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Exactly sf2k. Teenagers in Japan wouldn't know what is going on in the UK because they don't even know what is going on here. Ask them about any current events and you'll be met with a blank stare. How a link between two random attacks of women and a criminal trend in the United States can even be considered is beyond me.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"Some academics are concerned that this is just another sign of America’s “society of violence” importing itself to Japan."

And these academics ought to look at companies like Sony, Sega, Nintendo, or any other of the major companies that produce the 90% of the most violent video games the world has seen, or perhaps the all-too-graphic gang rape comics that sit beside the ice cream in convenience stores.

How is this a product of US society? If suddenly Japan decided everyone could have guns, I could see THAT as influence, but calling the actions of morons the result of another nation is just stupid. Shame on these so-called academics. They are merely shirking the blame.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The US knockout game seems to be a race thing, if you look at the perps and the victims. That is obviously not the case in Japan. And they are not using iron rods to hit women from behind... clearly something different. These are homegrown perps.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is a stupid game and if i ever encountered someone that tired to knock me out and he fails to so I am gonna break both is arms! plain and simple. Self defense and street smarts pays off.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Out of the fights I have been in, I have only been knocked out once, which was a blind side punch & I was trying to break up a fight between two girls, because one of them was pregnant & some drunk dude decided he wanted to see them fight, so he blind-sided me.

I have gotten my "bell rung" a few times, but fortunately, I can take a punch. Let one of these punks come & punch me. They will be surprised when they don't knock me out & I attack them & break either their elbows, or knees!

Kids nowadays are sheltered from punishment to the point that they think they can get away with anything. The furture looks bleak with idiots like these kids running around.

-10 ( +5 / -14 )

Some academics are concerned that this is just another sign of America’s “society of violence” importing itself to Japan.

Posh. This is just proof that there are douchebags wherever you go. It has nothing to do with the US, or anywhere else for that matter.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This whole supposed phenomenon has been discredited as a few incidents being overblown and over-reported by the press. So, if Japan is influenced in any way, it's by believing hyperbolic media. And seriously, get over the idea that any and all violence comes from the U.S. Japan has had and continues to have it's share of violence, whether it's widely reported or not.

In fact, police are not even certain that these incidents are connected, or that this widespread, trendy game based on knocking out strangers is real at all. A Jersey City police spokesperson told the New York Times, "If there ever was an urban myth, this was it." And even Ray Kelly, the police commissioner of New York City who is notorious for his Stop & Frisk policy that targets Black and Latino men, said, "We're trying to determine whether or not this is a real phenomenon."

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is one piece of bad journalism. It's a HUGE stretch to say that the knockout game is somehow connected to 2 cases of people getting hit with metal pipes (which has happened in Japan many times before this knockout game thing). Heck the two are not even related to each other. One has someone punching someone the other has someone hitting them with a pipe/rod.

It's like saying boxing and baseball are related sports!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I have gotten my "bell rung" a few times, but fortunately, I can take a punch. Let one of these punks come & punch me. They will be surprised when they don't knock me out & I attack them & break either their elbows, or knees!

Talks like a hard case looks like a dweeb!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

And these academics ought to look at companies like Sony, Sega, Nintendo, or any other of the major companies that produce the 90% of the most violent video games the world has seen, or perhaps the all-too-graphic gang rape comics that sit beside the ice cream in convenience stores.

Touché.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

take a strong look Japan, you're Abe-youth are getting ready for the next stages. Maybe that was too terrible a thought so it was better to find something across the planet that was similar.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They should bring up the point in school about the people who did fight back. One older woman actually shot back killing this knockout game attacker.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Apprehend these bullies, and knock THEM out. Let them feel the pain and mix of feelings of feeling helpless to the hands of your aggressor. If it is a power game they're playing, they just need to be on the receiving side. I'm usually against violence, but, this is going too far. What they're 'playing' can cause long trauma (psychological and physiological), not to mention it can kill. I agree, these 'roaches', need to learn a lesson, and get a job.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I honestly believe violence from overseas (not just the States) has heavily influenced Japan. If there was no violence overseas, there wouldnt be much here. Why? Because Japan is country full of lemmings. Hardly any innovation or creativity anymore, which is really sad. Ive noticed in my English lessons at JHS, when I do creative work with them, they cant think for themselves, they have to copy someone.

-5 ( +2 / -8 )

This doesnt sound like the Knockout Game at all, just low life thugs from a different type of inbreeding from those in the US

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As far as i know in the "Knock out game" the nutters use their fists, not cowardly attack women from behind with a steel rod. It may not be far fetched that this is just another nutter who was just stressed about something?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I honestly believe violence from overseas (not just the States) has heavily influenced Japan. If there was no violence overseas, there wouldnt be much here. Why? Because Japan is country full of lemmings. Hardly any innovation or creativity anymore, which is really sad. Ive noticed in my English lessons at JHS, when I do creative work with them, they cant think for themselves, they have to copy someone.

That's a pretty sweeping statement, and quite insulting to Japanese people.

Anyway, back on topic and this needs to be stopped now before it does become a trend. Young people seem to be getting more violent, less respectful of law and order, and more willing to lash out when they don't get their own way. Not just in Japan, but here in the UK too. They seem to be incapable of any self control. The availability of 'recreational' and class A drugs and cheap booze don't help either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I honestly believe violence from overseas (not just the States) has heavily influenced Japan.

Ask people from other parts of the eastern hemisphere just how peaceful the Japanese can be.Then, ask the Japanese, themselves. They need no instruction from anyone on Earth on how to commit violence.

It's horrible that these attacks occurred, and they should be fully prosecuted. As others have said, there appear to be no parallels between these attacks and the overhyped "knockouts" in the U.S. Editorials such as this are not helping the situation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ask people from other parts of the eastern hemisphere just how peaceful the Japanese can be.Then, ask the Japanese, themselves. They need no instruction from anyone on Earth on how to commit violence.

Yay, a reference to the Japanese during the war. Wondered when we'd see one. You win a toffee apple!

I actually think these attacks are more likely acts of recreational violence; an activity whereby bored morons decide to go out an carry out acts of violence purely for the fun of it. They perhaps sit around watching porn or reading violent manga all the while getting drunk or smoking weed... and possibly wonder what it would be like to actually to carry out such acts on a real person... That's what I think anyway.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ask people from other parts of the eastern hemisphere just how peaceful the Japanese can be.Then, ask the Japanese, themselves. They need no instruction from anyone on Earth on how to commit violence.

Quite honestly, this is a ludicrous leap of logic. Apples and oranges, friend.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So I guess, the Japanese game 'rapelay' was not of Japanese origin? hello hello, people who act out video games are nutters1

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Some academics are concerned that this is just another sign of America’s “society of violence” importing itself to Japan. ......................................................................................................................................

Some academoc should visit USA or subscrive one or two newspapers in New York, or any city in USA. Gun using murders are all over. Maybe they are talking that gun related ctime all over in Japan has been imported from USA society of violence. Are they sure these two criminals played these games days and nights?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the_odeman: "I honestly believe violence from overseas (not just the States) has heavily influenced Japan."

Yeah, Japan's never been violent, ever. No feudal era and caste systems where it was okay to test out a new sword on a person, no war, ever, nothing but bowing and sutras until influenced by the US?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I've not read/heard of this kind of crime happening here in Kobe? We were out the other night with 50,000 plus enjoying the Kobe Luminaire and I didn't see a single crime happen"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

aaaaah so its america's fault? I think its just ignorant kids.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"One, this "Knockout Game" is hardly indicative of any sort of "cultural" value held by American society, and is so limited in scope as to result in many questioning its actual existence at all. "

Sorry. I take issue with LFRAgain who questions the existence of such a "game". Of course there is no such "cultural" value, but the actual existence of the phenomenon is really not in question any more. The examples are numerous. It is mostly blacks attacking whites, Jews, or Asians and seems racially motivated. There is a whole book out on it documenting cases around the nation entitled "White Girl, Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It" by Colin Flaherty. He documents hundreds of episodes in more than 80 cities since 2010 and more have taken place since the book was published for sure. Ask the victims of the game whether they think it is real. Experience has a way of changing our views on the issue.

However, I too doubt whether these two crimes are a part of this game of racial violence.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Foreign influence, my arse.

Probably one of the hundreds of thousands of quiet losers of the shinsotsu lottery, condemned to half or less the income of their seishain classmates.

Thanks a bunch, Koizumi!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

An unfortunate side effect of western culture and media that is spread around the world.

With good also comes the bad.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

One of these days, those attackers will pick on a wrong person and get a few broken bones (if lucky). That would make an very good example and warning to those who want to try.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tjguy,

" . . . but the actual existence of the phenomenon is really not in question any more."

Respectfully, this is not at all true. The existence of a so-called "knockout game" epidemic has been roundly condemned in the U.S. by a number of law enforcment officials, civic leaders, and media outlets as being the product of sensationalist reporting and the blatant cherry picking of facts from poorly investigated incidents in order to fit a predetermined conclusion.

The "knockout game," as it supposedly goes, involves randomly and suddenly punching a stranger in the head in order to knock him or her out with a single punch. That's it. Nothing else. That's the "game," e.g, "Are you manly enough to take someone out with a single punch?"

This isn't even remotely what's happening in this so-called "epidemic." Each of the incidents that have been compiled from a smattering of incidents here and there involved not only beating the victims continuously, but also doing so so viciously that the victim died as a result of injuries. THEN the perpetrators robbed the victims.

That's not any sort of "knockout game." That's a mugging.

As for Colin Flaherty, a decidedly conservative freelancer, his book isn't so much about this "knockout game" fabrication, as it is about what he perceives to be a rise in racially motivated black-on-white violence that is allegedly under-reported by mainstream media.

Hmmm.... The "Knockout Game" -- randomly attacking strangers to knock them out -- versus young, black men singling out whites to beat and rob them.

No, not the same thing even remotely.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

These silliy bastards that do crimes like knocking out random innocent people are worse than scum!! How about random death penalties for these scums after they are arrested!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Mikune Hara, the first comment hit the nail on the head. As a police officer and a video game player I completely agree.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ugh, I wish people would stop using video games as the reason behind every random act of violence that occurs on the streets. GAMES ARE NOT TO BLAME FFS. Get it right.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounded like professors did not know Nintendo and Sony are Japanese companies. American violent games we can get are usually by brilliant Japanese software developers of Japanese companies. Nintendo and Sony entertainments are fighting on top sales in USA for their so-called violent games. Too expensive that we don;t hear cheap punks who uswually do not have computer and robbed 7 11 type small stores. However, there are computer owned violent criminals in USA. Usually gun related multuole gunshot crimes. Are there gun related crimes in Japan imported from USA?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wow, japan took it to the next level. hitting a women with a metal rod.

maybe its not a knockout game, maybe they should find this guy and arrest him. it was just two attacks, and they were women, also it was dark.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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