Daijoubu Desu Ka?

October 26th, 2005 by smoop



10 great iPhotos

Originally uploaded by Monatopia.

We debated posting about this as it was one of the most unsettling events either of us can remember witnessing. In the end, we decided that we needed to know more about what was happening, and the only way we would be able to do that was to post, and perhaps someone can shed some light on this.

We were sitting in a restaurant in Shinjuku, an empty table between another couple and us towards the back of the place. He looks a little like a punk ass with a shirt open down to his navel. She’s just your average adorable little Japanese girl. We’re enjoying a little 4pmish snack and sake. The only person on staff who spoke English was the dishwasher who had been to San Francisco once and loved it. He seemed very happy to have someone to speak to in English. We continued our investigative eating strategy and ordered some bacon wrapped moki yakatori.

All is going swimmingly in VacationLand.

Then the punk ass hits his girlfriend in the face. Closed Fist. Full on decks her. It’s one of those surreal moments where you are fairly certain that you are seeing things. She’s covering her face, crying quietly. Rocking. He’s laughing. Smiling.

Maybe we didn’t just see that. Maybe they are playing around. Maybe she’s covering her face and laughing.

He grabs her by the face and slams her head against the wall behind her. Still smiling. Extreme Violence but he is so calm. No anger. No passion. Just matter of factly does it again chatting and smiling. We yell for him to stop. We expect the restaurant staff to get involved but suddenly they are all gone. Scott gets up and heads to their table. Almost instantly a waiter appears – simply to stop Scott. Tell him it’s ok. The punk ass asks Scott if he speaks Japanese. “Don’t get involved if you don’t speak Japanese.”

He’s still smiling.

The women is unable to stand. Unable to focus. Cross Eyed. Mouth bloody. Eye bloodshot and swollen. I invite her over to our table. She can barely make it. Punk Ass leaves. She’s repeating numbers over and over again, but we can’t understand what she means by them. 3400? 300? She says she is not ok. She is drunk, but… ? Punk Ass reappears to take her with him. Now she says she is ok. Punk Ass smiles and says something to us that we don’t understand. He says it’s ok because she is his honey. He wants to shake my hand. He’s standing over us and smiling in the same way he was as he was beating her. The wait-staff are trying to ignore us. Watching on the sly. Scott is looking for something to hit the guy with. She can finally stand and they leave.

Now no one will talk to us. The dishwasher won’t even come say goodbye – just watches us from the kitchen.

Is this the Japanese way? To ignore something like that? To not get involved? Or were they afraid of Punk Ass? Is there something else we should have done? Is there any way we could have helped her? Should we have let her leave with him?

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