Previously, we’ve brought word of criminals hunting Japanese otaku. This time it’s the Japanese police who’s hunting them. Apparently, police in Shinjuku have been stopping people who look like otaku, aka NERDS, and subjecting them to spot checks. What do Japanese otaku look like? They come in all shapes and sizes, but the above chap does a nice job of playing the stereotype. In these spot checks, the police ask what your occupation is, examine your ID and sometimes go through your stuff.
A supposed police list describes what types of individuals cops should do spot checks on. Those individuals are:
•People wearing camouflage trousers or jackets
•People with chains or keys (hanging off trousers)
•People who look weak
•People wearing a bandana
•People wearing leather
To see if these rumors held water, website Tantei File sent Ozumi-san (above) to Shinjuku dressed accordingly. The note he is holding says “Bummer. Failure.” He put that in his backpack as he wandered the Shinjuku streets. Sure enough, he was stopped by two police officers, who were apparently somewhat embarrassed to find that note in Ozumi’s backpack.
Tantei and other sites seem to be convinced these inspections are being carried out on specifically otaku fashion. Granted, Ozumi-san is dressed much like at stereotypical otaku. In Japan, otaku are still marginalized figures — though, they have become more mainstream in recent years. And since there have been incidents of otaku being mugged, many have started carrying knives and other weapons to protect themselves. Perhaps the police are searching for those. Or maybe they’re looking for suspicious characters. Who knows.
The funny thing: Shinjuku is crawling with organised crime — both Japanese and foreign.