Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 20 in Japan: REEFER MADNESS BABY

My friend said "Hey, let's go to the manga museum," which is this big comic book museum shaped like a spaceship on a small peninsula in our river. I said "Sure, why?" He told me there was gonna be some big reggae party. Whatever, I got nothing else to do, I thinks to myself, and so I went.

It occurred to me on the ride over that today was 4/20, the weed smokingest day in the calendar, at least in America. Go to any hippie liberal university, 7-11 back door, or high school parking lot on this day, and you will be greeted with red eyes and deep thinking aplenty.

It all clicked! This was why they were having the reggae party in the park. The Ishinomaki city council had set aside this day to let people live life like they were from one of the thousands of other, unproductive islands in the world. Places where people wear multi-colored sarongs and play bongos and drink coconut milk. Islands that move to the rhythm of of the steel drum instead of the CNC machine. Salarymen would be wearing tie-died suits and taking bong rips in the back of their silver mini-cars! It would be, for one short day, pure anarchy in Japan.

So that's what I thought. Here are some pictures of what actually went down.

There was a dude walking a rabbit. I guess he might have been high, but sometimes it's hard to tell with Japanese people.

This was the actual reggae party. Like 10 people, none of whom seemed to be particularly stoned. My friend pointed out that it wasn't much of a reggae party since "there's not even any black people! And no rasta colors!" (sorry if that seems like unfair stereotyping, but remember, this is a country that's crazy about Little Black Sambo in 2008)

This one guy was dancing like a turd, but almost certainly as sober as a Lutheran on Sunday.

Marijuana occupies a strange place in Japan. They're obsessed with pot culture, and yet, as far as I can tell almost no one here has ever even seen marijuana before, and certainly not smoked it. It's treated the same as much more serious drugs in the eyes of the law, and there's quite a social stigma against smoking it. A local politician detonated his entire career after getting caught smoking a joint. And yet, in every decent-sized city, there will be at least one store which sells only stoner t-shirts and rasta gear. Makes about as much sense as the freshly laundered punk rockers I suppose.

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Câmera Digital said...
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