Last November, a gang from Tokyo’s Chofu district decided that they were going to hop on their motorcycles and ride around Tachikawa, a different part of west Tokyo that’s about 20 kilometers away. One of the members also decided to post about their plans on Instagram, writing “We’ll be cruising Tachikawa on our bikes. See you there, Tachikawa people!”
One of the Tachikawa residents who saw this posting was a member of a different gang, though, and apparently didn’t take kindly to a rival group cruising their turf. “Come if you’ve got the guts” he wrote back, which eventually led to a phone call between members of the two gangs, who decided the best wat to settle things was with a good old-fashioned rumble.
The two sides picked Noyamakita Park as the location for the fight, which isn’t located in Tachikawa or Chofu, but in Musashimurayama, yet another part of Tokyo that borders Tachikawa to the north (putting the park on the far side of Tachikawa from Chofu). Though about 30 members would be gathering for the fight, they decided on a team battle system in which six representatives would fight for each side. They also agreed to no weapons, pledging to fight with just their fists, feet, and pride.
It almost sounds chivalrous and gallant, like something out of a martial arts epic or a delinquents-with-hearts-of-gold manga series. However, harsh reality came crashing down when the two gangs met up in the park shortly before midnight on November 19, and it turned out that several members of the Tachikawa side had decided to bring weapons anyway, which they used to attack their rivals.
There was still some crazy anime-style flair to the fight, though, as one member of the Tachikawa side showed up with a spiked club.
OK, technically it’s a baseball bat with dozens of nails hammered into it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it looks like something you’d see being carried by an oni, or maybe a villain’s henchman in "Fist of the North Star." Needless to say, the fight ended up not being a somber, honorable duel, and the resulting shouting and commotion caught the attention of local residents, who contacted the police.
In addition to the spiked bat, officers have confiscated several non-spiked bats, kitchen knives, and a stun gun that they say were used in the brawl. Surprisingly, only six combatants were reported as sustaining injuries.
▼ Video of the evidence, laid out in the neat, orderly manner expected of Japanese law enforcement.
Investigators say the ages of the fighting gang members ranged from 13 to 22. A total of 23 arrests have been made, with the most recent announced on Thursday and consisting of one minor, a 21-year-old unemployed resident of Higashiyamato (another part of western Tokyo), and a 22-year-old resident of Kodaira (yet another part of western Tokyo), a self-proclaimed rapper who’s the leader of the Tachikawa gang.
Though the fight took place some time ago, the new round of arrests, as well as the photos of the arsenal, have startled Japanese users, whose reactions have included:
“One guy was totally going for shock value and was waiting to hear ‘Whoa, that dude’s got a spiked bat!?!’ from the other side.”
“I can hardly believe someone actually made one of those in real life.”
“Looks like he went to a lot of trouble to pound those nails in so nicely, one by one.”
“Hey, gangs from Tachikawa and Chofu, don’t have your dumbass fight in Musashimurayama. Do it in Tachikawa or Chofu.”
The three most recently arrested individuals are currently denying the allegations, but the police are pressing ahead with the charges.
Sources: NHK News Web, Livedoor News/Nitele News, Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Twitter
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--[ Anime apparently dictating reality as police round up gang members, make them form sports team](Anime apparently dictating reality as police round up gang members, make them form sports team)
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