Charges have been dropped against pop group SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi for public indecency and his comeback has been announced for May 28. But the park where Kusanagi was arrested, located behind Tokyo Midtown where he resides, has become a new Tokyo tour spot for curious visitors.
A housewife in her 40s who lives in a condominium facing Hinokimachi Park commented she’s never seen so many people there before. In the middle of the day, she’s seen young people take their shirts off and shout, obviously mocking Kusanagi.
Groups of youngsters are also taking videos of their friends reenacting the incident, posing as Kusanagi or policemen in the manner reported earlier by the media.
Shukan Post interviewed one such park visitor who said, “I just went to the izakaya (pub) where he was drinking that night and took some pictures. I’m now on my way to the Akasaka police department [which arrested Kusanagi], then the Harajuku police department [where he was detained], and lastly I’ll take a picture in front of Johnny’s Jimusho.”
During Golden Week, there seemed to be plenty of people from Tokyo and elsewhere with enough time on their hands to "tour" the same sightseeing spots and vicariously experience the Kusanagi incident.
Minato Ward’s Akasaka branch, which manages Hinokimachi Park, asked that tourists refrain from taking their shirts off out of courtesy to other users. On the other hand, entertainment reporter Masaru Nashimoto claims the strange phenomenon, in a way, attests to the singular popularity of the pop icon SMAP.© Japan Today