Name Change...and, How Many Cops Does It Take To Wrestle a Handicapped Man?

Posted on Monday, September 28, 2009 | 0 comments

    You may or may not have noticed that I've changed the title of the blog. As much as I like tofu (and bunnies, particularly dirty ones), I can't say that I was ever really loving the overly-cutesy name, but I couldn't think of anything else at the time I set the page up and have been too lazy to bother changing it.   But, after typing however many posts and realizing that I tend to talk about food and travel a lot, inspiration struck around midnight last night. 'Jinja' is Japanese for shrine, and 'shoga' means 'ginger'. After over 2 years of studying Japanese, I still confuse the two, due to the fact that 'ginger' sounds a lot like 'jinja'. There are countless times that I've talked about wanting to visit a certain 'shoga', when I really should just be adding it to my ama-zake. More on ama-zake in another post. So, Jinja and Shoga it shall be.
  And, in other news. Today, I was tiredly returning from a visit with my overly cheerful and sadistic tutor, when I came around the corner near our apartment and saw....a street full of policemen, neighbors, and police cars. Now, obviously this would be a bit disconcerting no matter where you live, but keep in mind that Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, and Shizuoka is likely one of the more peaceful cities in Japan. There were at least 4 police cars, plus a bunch of police mopeds, and more policemen than I could count, but a good guess would be maybe 12 or so cops. And, they were all mostly in front of our apartment, even more disturbing. Finally, pretty much everyone in the neighborhood was outside except for Yuki, who'd taken the day off to study for his upcoming exam. Not exactly a pleasant welcome-home scene.
  I saw my landlady outside talking to one of the policemen, so I charged up and asked her what was going on and was Yuki ok (probably rather rudely, since I forgot to use keigo as usual---keigo is the polite form of Japanese----and I also interrupted her) . She didn't seem to care luckily, and told me to go inside and ask Yuki what had happened. If I could've exclaimed 'He's alive!!' in Japanese, I would have. Sometimes an over-active imagination is a curse.
  What happened? Turns out that a traffic cop had pulled over a mildy mentally-handicapped delivery man for running a stop sign. Next thing everyone knew, the delivery man started freaking out about potentially losing his job due to getting a ticket, and he was throwing a fit in the street, screaming for at least 20 minutes and punching a brick wall repeatedly. The police didn't want to hurt him, so it took longer than it could have to get him into a police car.
  Yuki told me that he'd gone down and tried to help grab the guy before the other cops arrived, but he and the policeman had quite the time of it before the cop finally broke down and pulled some judo moves.
 Apparently I arrived at the tail-end of everything, as the police were wrapping up and taking statements from all the neighbors, who'd been outside just watching the whole thing unfold. In their defense, it's mostly elderly people at home during the day, so I can see why they would hesitate to jump in.
All in all, it was probably the most excitement this neighborhood has seen in a long while! Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

I count 8 cops in this pic, but there were at least 4 or more across the street, too!