If I had only been familiar with Japanese law and understood the risk of deportation, I would have never challenged that drunken Samurai to a fight.
Here’s how it all went down.
Four Japanese friends and I had just departed from an awesome soccer match between Japan and Scotland. As we cruised the city streets of Yokohama, on our way back to the countryside, the night suddenly took a turn for the worse. For no apparent reason, the car next to us began to violently swerve into our lane.
When I looked out the window to see what was going on, is when I first locked eyes with him. There, in the passenger seat of a small Honda hatchback was what can only be described as an enraged drunken samurai. With a face as red as a stop light and eyes as bulges as a blowfish, he grabbed the wheel out from under his girlfriend and continuously attempted to hit us while yelling incessantly.
“GO!” I yelled to my friend Kenta who was driving. We quickly sped passed him but just when we thought we had out maneuvered him, the light turned red, and he pulled up right behind us.
“O shit, here he comes” I thought to myself as the girls in the car screeched in fear. Screaming like a samurai from an Akira Kurosawa film, he staggered up to the car. Inflamed with rage he began to punch the glass windows. Unable to break them, he moved to the windshield. With one mighty punch, the glass cracked.
He peered in at us with crazy bloodshot drunken eyes while reaching for the door handle. It felt like the T-Rex scene from Jurrasic Park. “Lock The Doors!” I yelled to Kenta. But it was too late. Before I knew it, he had dragged Kenta from his seat, gotten him in a headlock and began pummeling his head against the side of the car.
“I have got to help Kenta” I thought. With my adrenaline on high and my heart pounding out of my chest, I made my way towards the door. However, all at once, the girls yelled, “No, don’t go, no, no.” Though I was ready to go, they’re cries were too insistent, and so I reluctantly sat back down.
As I watched Kenta getting beat up, I wondered why he was not fighting back. He had told me earlier that night that he was a master in Karate. More, his brother, who was also a karate master, calmly continued to watch as his brother began to bleed from the forehead.
“That’s it” I though, “I have got to do something.” This time I sprang out of the car without second thought. Filled with adrenaline, my body seemed to move effortlessly and out of my control. Swiftly, I lunged toward the samurai and punched him square on the top the head.
Shocked, he released Kenta and turned around to see who had hit him. With veins ready to burst in anger, he straggled towards me. Instinctively, I leaped back while my brain tried to assess whether to fight or flee.
He threw a slow punch, and I easily moved my head left to doge it. Then I quickly responded with a lighting fast right hook to the side of his face. He fell to the ground.
Fearing revenge and believing we could now make our escape, I leaped back into the car and urged Kenta to drive away.
Then the cops finally showed up. With nothing but a flashlight, a short Donald Duck looking cop waddled over to assess the situation. He politely addressed the drunken samurai and asked what the problem was. Still enraged, the samurai continued his rant.
Long story short, we were all asked to go to the police station. There, to my disbelief, the detective informed me that I would be charged with assault and deported. I was livid. He informed me that Japanese law states that who ever throws the first punch is guilty. To which I responded, “so putting someone in a headlock and bashing their head against the car doesn’t count?” Again he responded, “since you are a foreigner and you made first punch, you are guilty.”
Moral of the story, before you get into a fight, even if you have good intentions, familiarize your self with local laws.