Here is the third part of what I now realize will be a four-part series on the subject listed above :)
I. The unconventional disturbances of "intellectual criminals"
In addition to acknowledging the risks to public safety that public performances tarry with, the Japanese authorities have also looked disapprovingly upon the tendency of contemporary art pieces to manifest themselves as legitimately criminal activities. Owing in part to the activities of artists profiled in this paper, a special category of criminal known as chinouhan [知能犯、"intellectual criminal"] became a target of police attention. A watershed moment in this respect, and perhaps one of the first to truly associate avant-garde performance with the potential for criminality among the Japanese public, was the 1963 Model 1,000-Yen Note action of Hi Red Center's Genpei Akasegawa. For this action he photomechanically copied a 1,000-yen bill (albeit only a single side), and used the genkin fuutou [現金封筒、"cash mailers"] available at Japanese post offices to send out the duplicates as a means of advertising his upcoming exhibition at the Shinjuku Daiichi Gallery.
This activity invited criminal prosecution in 1965[i] and a trial that itself lasted until 1967, and it cannot have helped Akasegawa's case that the Japanese term he used to describe his motivations, kakuhan [撹拌、"agitation"] suggested a willful, political provocation of the authorities as much as it suggested a well-meaning attempt to make the public re-assess the meaning of their quotidian activities and interpersonal exchanges. Nor was it probably a wise move for him to blatantly refer to his works as nise [偽、"counterfeit"] in the process of promoting them. Finally, it must be noted that the serial number on the bill that Akasegawa copied was the same number that was being used by another contemporaneous counterfeiter, who had been eluding police so successfully as to make them the frequent brunt of jokes in the daily papers.
Among the other amusing, absurd secondary events to have resulted from Akasegawa's actions, Reiko Tomii notes that, during the trial "the thirty-five minutes taken to review the gamut of art evidence transformed the courtroom into an impromptu exhibition hall and the proceedings into a happening, with unheard-of participation by the gallery audience."[ii] Another side effect, of course, is that the trial caused Akasegawa's otherwise "static" art object to take on a second life within a legitimate "performance" context.
This itself was part of a trend towards a "critical" sort of unauthorized reproduction that was exemplified by Ushio Shinohara, who pioneered "imitation painting" in Japan and made no fewer than ten facsimiles of Robert Rauschenberg's 1958 Coca-Cola Plan sculpture (a development that Rauschenberg was "first pleased to hear about" until he learned the full extent of Shinohara's assembly line program.)[iii] Model 1,000-Yen Note's place in the avant-garde or 'Pop art' lineage of perfectly replicated objects seemingly did not justify it in the eyes of the Japanese authorities.
The semiotician Morag Josephine Grant has constructed a definition of experimental music that - if we mischievously substitute "art" in general for "music" - seems very accurate in explaining the methodology of the art discussed in these pages: "experimental music is distinguished by a change in the dominant mode of signification from the symbolic to the indexical: experimental music indicates, or draws attention to, the phenomena and relationships associated with the social practice known as music (for example, psychoacoustical phenomena, or the social relationships between audience, musicians and composers) and thereby offers information on how we make sense of music generally."[iv] By this reckoning, much of the art discussed here could be categorized as a kind of "experimental crime," in that it knowingly breaches the acceptable codes of civil and legal conduct in order to "indicate" or "draw attention to" the "social relationships" between the criminal and his or her targets. The Model 1,000-Yen Note of Genpei Akasegawa is, within Japanese culture, perhaps still the work most representative of this trend, with its conclusion (i.e. a criminal trial resulting in Akasegawa's conviction) affirming that the Japanese authorities are not inclined to treat "crime as commentary" any differently than crime committed with less lofty goals of personal gain.
If, as Reiko Tomii suggests, the work of Japanese "antiformalist factions…(such as Neo-Dada and Anti-Art) seek to transgress the boundary between art and life,"[v] there is much potential that their attempts to "reflect" or simulate some aspect of modern Japanese life will so closely replicate it that it can cause legitimate harm or some sort of costly disruption. At the same time, there is the possibility that individuals publicly acknowledged as artists might take advantage of their public reputation: if arrested or censured for petty criminal acts not enacted with the aformentioned "experimental" intentions, they could still attempt to explain them as such in order to gain release, a lightened sentence etc. The architect Arata Isozaki recalls a party that he had organized (which organization he was subsequently arrested for), during which an inebriated Tatsumi Hijikata and Neo-Dadaist Ushio Shinohara stripped naked and climbed onto the rooftop of a building located "in a relatively quiet sector of central Tokyo."[vi] In the court proceedings that followed, Isozaki was put in the unenviable position of explaining why this counted as an "art" action rather than an inspired moment of alcohol-fueled mayhem, and was put in an additional bind by Shinohara's self-declaration as a member of an "Anti-Art" movement (as the logic went, if the perpetrator himself said he wasn't an artist, then what was left to argue?)
An often unspoken effect of the post-Duchamp merger of art with "everyday life" (that Duchamp himself certainly realized)[vii] is that many people's "everyday life" involves the use of illegal means to cope with the reality they find themselves in. At least one infamous performance artist - Genesis P. Orridge of COUM Transmissions and Throbbing Gristle - lent credence to this by curating a 1976 series of performance art actions in London's AIR Gallery entitled Crime Affirms Existence: High Crime is Like High Art. It did not take the increasingly radical direction of 20th century art to come to this realization, though, as Simon Ford notes- i.e. "the identification of the artist with the criminal is actually quite traditional, and goes back at least as far as Thomas de Quincey's essay 'On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts' published in Blackwood's magazine ."[viii]
Elsewhere, Andre´ Breton claimed in the 2nd Manifesto of Surrealism (issued in 1929) that the "simplest Surrealist act" was the firing of a pistol into a crowd, essentially declaring that revolutionary destruction and revolutionary creation were united in what they could accomplish. Breton, whose revolutionary attitudes were largely inspired by the anti-colonialist Rif rebellion in Morocco, was as "interested in the partisan applications of murder as its aesthetic interpetations,"[ix] and as such he merged not "merely" art and crime, but art and terrorism. At one point some of Breton's allies were so taken with the criminal potential of art, and vice versa, that they took to "reviewing" (in the Surrealist review Littérature) whether or not certain criminal acts were sufficiently Surrealist. Benjamin Péret, for example, blanched at the unimaginative nature of the rape and murder of a ten-year old girl in Versailles who was eventually dissected into fifty-five pieces. "Had [the murderer] only done the inverse," Péret suggests, or, better yet, had he sent "some of the body parts to the right-wing royalist senator Lamarzelle,"[x] this act could have been considered an artistic performance rather than the base satisfaction of a common dullard's animal instincts.
This art/crime distinction is brought into play especially when artists' re-envisioning of the entire urban landscape as a "performance space" is not accompanied by a forewarning to the general public that they should expect (and, ideally, appreciate) such disruptions. For example, a 1973 Yasunao Tone performance entitled One Day Wittgenstein (subtitled "music for the passengers while trains pass each other"), was to be performed to an audience that was not conscious of its status as such. This involved standing on a subway train platform and making
…any sounds, any note, as loud as possible, using the sounds that should become [sic] Doppler Effect, so that they are heard by passengers on the other train that passes by. Repeat whenever another train passes.[xi]
Hi Red Center (not just Akasegawa's 'solo' projects) cannot be easily ignored in writing this particular story. Seemingly all of their documented actions, though not confrontational in a violent or particularly harrassing manner, involve an impish disregard for both the writ of law and for the great number of unspoken compacts that exist throughout Japanese society. While much of the focus here has been on crimes that involved violence or public safety hazards, these are hardly the only categories of urban crime- modern cities are stacked to the gills with various flavors of confidence trickster and fraudster, and this general category of criminal misrepresentation is also one that has been embraced by the arts underground in Tokyo.
For example, their 1962 "string piece," "exhibited" at the Tokyo-to Bijutsukan [東京都美術館、Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum] situated in Ueno Park, involved a ten-mile long piece of string that led outward from the museum, through the park itself (which covers about 133 acres of Tokyo's urban landscape), and into the Ueno central train station. As Nam Jun Paik recalls, "If it were not for a hapless old woman, nobody would have noticed it."[xii] The woman in question tripped over the string, then notified a police officer who traced it back to the museum - as with many of their other actions, Paik expresses surprise that the group "managed not to get arrested." I would also add to this some surprise at their managing not to be attacked by citizens whose trust they had somehow breached, as was the case with their selling tickets for a "War Defeat Anniversary Dinner": an event for which ticket buyers paid a hefty price with the expectation that they would enjoy a hearty banquet, only to find that the ticket purchase merely "entitled" them to observe the trio of Akasegawa, Takamatsu and Nakanishi eating dinner instead. A variant of this (though not a knowing tribute) was played out in the mid-1980s by the Gerogerigegege, who invited fans to a beach party ostensibly for a live concert commemorating a flexidisc record release: the performance, though not consisting of any music, did feature a bonfire of nearly the entire single pressing[xiii], and lewd exhibitionist behavior from the otherwise staid-looking band member "Gero 30."
The 1964 Cleaning Action of Hi Red Center is also something of a landmark piece for the performing arts underground, illustrating both its potential to be a public nuisance and its predilection for urban camoflauge. As Dasha Deklava recalls:
Ironically, the event took place in a busy Tokyo center about two weeks after the [Olympic] games had started. Participants, including [Yasunao] Tone, wore white lab coats and surgical masks, and proceeded to clean a city street for several hours with materials that carried their subversive message: naphthalene, insecticides, metal polish, wire brush, sand paper, etc.[xiv]
Here the strategy of exploiting public preconceptions was made put into play by the performers: merely by taking the the necessary precautions to appear "professional," the artists managed to evade the type of penalties that might normally come from loitering or causing a public disturbance. Tomii notes "many passersby paid little attention to it, assuming it to be an official beautification effort; only a handful cast somewhat skeptical glances."[xv]
Parsing the different types of "intellectual crime" makes it important for us to differentiate between short-term and long-term damages, a distinction that is important to make when judging the severity of any urban crime. In the former category we could place the usual host of Japanese national anxieties, such as the erosion of feelings of societal obligation and an increased level of public criticism of the “vertical society” or tate shakai. In the latter category of threat are spontaneous eruptions of violence and public disorder (e.g. riots.) When breaking things down accordingly, though, further distinctions need to be made between intentionally provoked violence and that which arises with apparently no effort on the performing artist's behalf. The history of audience violence at sporting events shows that, except in select cases (such as the one-time collusion of the Red Star Belgrade soccer team with local Serb paramilitaries), it is unwise to assume agitational actn on performers’ behalf when any number of more banal factors can be blamed for outbreaks of bad behavior. For example, easy and regular access to alcohol combined with manufactured rivalries, as in the infamous and tragic-comic 1974 “10 Cent Beer Night” riots at Cleveland Stadium, or in the regular invasion of the Tokyo Dome by staunchly anti-Tokyo fans of the Hanshin Tigers baseball team.
There are many precedents for audiences' turning violent during their confrontations with novel, experimental forms of art, such as the famous riots that accompanied the 1913 premiere of Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring, held at the Parisian Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. As was the case with the Stravinsky premier, outbreaks of violence can occur at events that do not actually intend to agitate the audience, but merely offer some sort of abrupt break from the customary viewing experience (in this case, it was Nijinsky's choreography, characterized by exaggerated stiff movements meant to emulate the pagan rituals of Scythian tribes.) While the authorities cannot point to any major flashpoint incident of violence provocation within Tokyo, they could perhaps rely on accounts such as the following from David Novak:
In Northern England during the “Japan-o-Rama” tour in 2002, for example, an audience reacted to the extended silences and high-pitched sounds of a performance by Sachiko M by shouting and throwing objects at the stage in what the London promoter described to me as a “near riot.” During an Italian tour the same year, the vehicle transporting a group of onkyo musicians from a festival was reportedly surrounded by angry fans who blocked the passage of the car and beat their fists on the roof (interview with Paul Hood, 2002).[xvi]
II. Policing and deterrence
Japan's governing bodies can be very obstinate with regard to adapting to new social challenges, often times prefering a "by the book" method of operation that is based largely on past successes and is too inflexible to deal with contingencies. This was the case with the poor police response to Japan's homegrown terror cult Aum Shinrikyo [アウム真理教、"Aum Supreme Truth"] - though the cult was operating in multiple prefectures within Japan, the lack of inter-prefectural communication between police forces gave them a decisive advantage here, and it can be argued that the cult was undone more by its own poor planning and overestimation of its own abilities than by any particularly skillful policing (in fact, the news media was more inclined to "go after" Aum in its early phases of criminal activity than was the police.)
The timidity of the response to the growing Aum threat was also based partially on a fear of being seen internationally as overzealous and intolerant of minority faiths, a sensitive issue ever since the monopoly on religious activity that was enjoyed by the Emperor's 'divine' rule. Japan's 1951 Religious Corporation Law "strengthened constitutionally guaranteed religious freedoms […] and provided these groups with unusually strong protection from government intrusion."[xvii] However, such a law does not apply to 'minoritarian' cultures, and here the police have had their hands considerably freer to launch crackdowns on entire special interest groups based on the heinous activities of a single representative (again, refering to the Miyazaki incident's effects on the consumers and producers of independent comics.)
Upon seeing what types of punishments that can be meted out for the sort of grand "protest performance" that Mishima enacted in 1970, it is unsurprising that more actions of this type have not happened (or even that Mishima chose to end the performance in the spectacular and gruesome way that he did.) The Japanese Penal Code presently allows for a death sentence or life imprisonment for the 'ringleader' who is found to be coordinating riots or mob action for the purpose of "overthrowing the government, usurping the territorial sovereignty of the State, or otherwise subverting constitutional order."[xviii] Given that the third item on the list is not qualified with further detail as to what constitutes "subversion," this law seems like a particularly strong deterrent to any would-be radical organizers (participants in such a mob action have a sentencing limit of 3 years without hard labor.) Crimes of souran [騒乱、"disturbance"] are interesting for the fact that an alternate translation of souran is "riot," whose synonym boudou [暴動] appears in the section on insurrection - so it should be clear hear that the Japanese legal interpretation of "disturbance" involves violent action and not nuisance acts such as public intoxication or lewdness.
The latter, however, does fall under the category of kouzen waisetsu [公然わいせつ] or public indecency or obscenity, as listed in Article 174: this is punishable by up to 6 months' imprisonment and a fine of up to 300,000 yen. Many in the performance underground are very cognizant of how their own work classifies as obscenity, and have used that as the basis for further provocative performances, as is the case with some of Zero Dimension's actors appearing publicly in their standard nude "dress," but with placards over their genital areas reading "waisetsu"[obscenity.]
III. See no evil…censorship by omission
The ability to not say what everyone is thinking, yet 'strongly suggest' it all the same, has been a valuable tool of marginal Japanese cultures throughout the ages, and particularly during the totalitarian period from the mid-1930s until 1945. During this period, the technique of strong implication was skillfully deployed by players of naniwabushi [浪花節], the shamisen-accompanied songs named after their origin in Osaka (known during the Tokugawa Shogunate as Naniwa.) According to Detlev Schauwecker, singers of naniwabushi "simply did not voice censured passages in their lyrics or dialogues, leaving it to the audience's imagination to fill in the gaps."[xix] This was necessary for songs that, during the Tokugawa era, generally painted the underground activities of the yakuza gangs in a positive light (a kind of Japanese variant on the 'Robin Hood' legend), and was again necessary for their evolution into the 20th century era of imperial expansion. Yet while deliberate omission here is actually a means of suggesting that which cannot be communicated explicitly (much like the absurd sound effects used in the place of obscenities on the bowdlerized "radio-friendly" versions of rap tracks), it has a different meaning when subcultural elements are the target of that omission. The feigned ignorance of the masukomi towards such elements is greatly helpful to a police force that may hope to contain subcultural activity to a few isolated cells, until those cells burn out or are assimilated into the cultural mainstream.
The media attempts to diminish the presence of the underground have certainly increased since the peak years of artistic activism in the 1960s and 1970s, as can be evidenced in the popular music magazines - e.g. Fool's Mate - that had previously reserved coverage for underground or independent artists, and now are almost entirely given over to mainstream rock acts. Journals giving full coverage to subcultural concerns do not generally circulate in the convenience stores and kiosks that supply train commuters with their daily fix of reading material (some monthly magazines, like Burst, may buck this trend, but these typically cover subcultural activities from more of an uncritical fashion or 'lifestyle' perspective.)
Feigned media ignorance was not a special invention meant to stem the rise of underground activities, but has been used as a means of sidestepping all kinds of inconvenient truths. By way of illustration, Index on Censorship reporter Peter Hadfield cites a situation in which
…riots broke out in a suburb of Osaka, Japan; over four days more than 100 policemen were injured by rock throwing mobs of youths and day-labourers. It was the worst rioting in 17 years, and a sensational story in an otherwise quiet and trouble-free nation.[xx]
Hadfield expresses some exasperation at how "what would have been a front-page story in any other country was quietly buried on the inside pages."[xxi] He also attributes the lack of quality in Japanese news reportage to the existence of the kisha [記者、'reporter'] press clubs, who consult with each other on which stories are of most relevance to their readership (or perhaps to their bosses) and, through this cooperative effort, minimize the possibility of there being a counter-narrative and ensure that any such attempts will be seen as "unofficial" or the un-serious, hobbyist attempts of subcultural amateurs. Japanologist Boye LaFayette De Mente confirms the points made in Hadfield's expose, stating that
…every major news source in the country - the prime minister's office, government ministries and agencies, industrial and business groups etc. - on the national, prefectural and metropolitan level, were the exclusive preserve of a specific kisha kurabu, and that journalists not members of a club […] were not allowed to attend news briefings by that particular source.[xxii]
Hadfield submits that the existence of kisha kurabu does not merely result in censorship by omission, but also in a kind of censorship by distortion. To illustrate the tragicomic extremes to which this happens, he refers to a 1990 case in which "up to 70 pressmen descended on Honolulu […] after a minor Japanese actor, Shintaro Katsu, was arrested for possession of small amounts of cocaine and marijuana."[xxiii] As he claims, the very triviality of the story became the newsworthy quality of the story, as the events surrounding Katsu were spun to convey an absurd moral message that "nothing ever happens in Japan." The punchline was that this claim was directly contradicted by a major concurrent event; a protracted shootout between the country's two largest yakuza factions that led to the mobilization of riot police and the premature closing of shops in the Tokyo suburb of Hachijoji.
Though the existence of the collaborative press clubs means that each respective organ of the rigidly controlled news media is unconcerned with these "breaking big stories" ahead of competitors, there is still a high demand for newspapers among Japan's highly literate population, with each major paper circulating a daily morning and evening edition. It is not uncommon for the kisha clubs to bring unorthodox news stories to the table, yet these are likely to be relegated to the less 'authoritative' weekly magazines owned by the major newspaper concerns. It is also not uncommon for the major newspapers to occasionally, in their not-so-secret collusion, assume their role as a voice for the people and issue joint criticisms of dire situations- such was the case when, in 1960, the mainstream newspapers (Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Sankei, Nihon Keizai) issued a blanket condemnation of the political violence that was then erupting in the country.[xxiv] So, all told, it is incorrect to paint the Japanese print media as a monolithic organization that cannot occasionally assert itself.
Part of the blame for the news blackout must also lie with the underground's own choice of terms used to define itself (or the lack thereof)- the present-day ambiguity or even non-existence of their statements of intent can make it very difficult to 'slot them in' to any of the dedicated sections commonly associated with the daily newspapers (sports, opinion, financial news, or even 'arts.') Actions of the type carried out by Zero Dimension, or by more recent acts like Hanatarash or John Duncan, would be more likely to appear as quickly buried 'police blotter' items than as critical art appraisals. Again, to somewhat qualify these absolute appraisals, arts writer Doraiji Kuro notes one anomalous situation in which "Zero Dimension received a surprising amount of mass media coverage […]. From the period of 1958 to 1970, I recall that the number of times they were mentioned in weekly magazines exceeded fifty, with, at most, up to twenty mentions in 1968."[xxv]
Lest the masukomi of Japan be incorrectly seen as print media alone, some consideration should also be given to television coverage of cultural events. While television news broadcasts and documentary featurettes are ostensibly created free from any dictation of standards by other governing bodies, Gregory Noble notices that there are still many clauses in the national broadcasting law
explicitly caution[ing] broadcasters not to question the actions of governments or mainstream society: "respect laws and orders [horei] and do not give positive coverage to words or actions that interfere with their execution" (clause 6); "treat problems into which government organs are inquiring with discretion" (clause 8); "do not give positive coverage to words or actions that disturb [midasu] social order and good manners and customs [fuzoku] and habits [shutkan]"(clause 24).[xxvi]
It is also worth considering how lack of television interest in their activities may be another 'blessing in disguise' for the underground, given the ways in which news can often manifest itself within the country. Television documentarians working for major stations like NHK have also been criticized for the broadcasting of yarase, a type of bogus "reality show" intended to steer viewers towards a certain kind of moral behavior by using staged events that are not admitted as such (more often than not, the simple moral of the story is that Japan remains the best country on Earth in spite of its myriad flaws.) One Himalayan yarase adventure in 1992, for example, "dramatically showed a poor member of the NHK team being treated for altitude sickness, when apparently he was in excellent health; another featured the team laboriously toiling up the steep mountain slopes on foot when in fact they had arrived by helicopter."[xxvii] NHK officials have admitted on occasion to lying about the frequency of staged events in their documentary programs, with one prize-winning NHK special - "I Was a Spy in Japan" - being a special embarrassment in this department. With such a tradition of dubious reporting attributable to NHK and others, there is enough reason to believe that the underground wants as little to do with television coverage in the country as the authorities want to do with promoting them.
IV. Policing priorities: organized crime vs. "unorganized" crime
In conversation with the Tokyo-based expatriate and composer Zbigniew Karkowski, a passing reference is made to me about a local live music venue [name redacted]: "just 3 minutes walk from my place [in Tokyo's Koenji district], there is an illegal (run by yakuza) club called [name redacted] under a public sento [bath]."[xxviii] This is, in all likelihood, not an isolated incident of organized crime's connection with the real estate that is used by the performance underground. If this speculation is true, it shows that it is not always wise to paint the relationships between rival societal forces with a broad brush- it is plausible that a group as supposedly concerned with "national essence" as the yakuza might tolerate a certain degree of deviance within these establishments, as a kind of "release valve" to keep radical elements from seeking a less rarefied atmosphere of public relations. Alternately, they may be too busy with a full complement of other activities[xxix] to know or even care about the specific content of every performance: monthly schedules at these venues, owing to the sheer number of music hobbyists and 'indie circuit' bands in Japan, are typically booked solid.
The location of many "live houses" gives lie to the theory that they are either yakuza-owned, or among the unlucky establishments having to offer some kind of protection money to the local bosses. Both the long-running live house 20,000V in the Kouenji district and the more spacious Shinjuku Loft club in the Kabuki-cho neighborhood (widely regarded as Japan's yakuza playground, to the point of being the main staging ground of the Jackie Chan gangster caper Shinjuku Incident) are literally surrounded by the type of seamy 'red light district' establishments that are the yakuza's stock in trade.
The irony of the situation is that, if police were to raid 'live houses' or likeminded establishments on the basis of suspected yakuza involvement, they would be effectively sabotaging their own provisional alliance with the gangsters who act as an "auxiliary police force" in some respects. As David Johnson reports, "despite periodic crackdowns, many police remain sympathetic to the conservative views held by gangsters, and some seem to welcome the ways in which gangsters help control unorganized crime."[xxx] The shared political orientation of these groups brings them both into the orbit of yet another group that can occasionally flaunt the law with impunity, the uyoku [右翼]: this is a term meaning "right wing" yet applied almost exclusively to an odd clique of protestors typified by their black paramilitary gear and black "sound trucks," from which pro-imperialist marching music and denunciations of foreign influence blare, haranguing passerby and businesses. If we temporarily ignore this 'third wheel' in the relationship, though, historical precedents do exist for yakuza acting as enforcers in situations where uniformed defenders of the State would not have much effect: this special relationship truly got under way in the Japan of the 1920s, where labor strikes inspired by the Russian revolution called for a ruthless strike-breaking force that had 'nothing to lose' in terms of public image.[xxxi] Eiko Siniawer notes that, at this time,
…yakuza were not unequivocally condemned as criminals or parasitic mafiosi by the societies in which they operated or the political universe in which they thrived, and they were considered just legitimate enough by those who decided to do business with them. And the state, intentionally or not, capitalized on this blurring of boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate, because in supporting yakuza violence instead of flagrantly wielding that of the police or military, it could forward its ideological, financial, and political interests while taking cover in a gray area where state violence was not patently identifiable and therefore more difficult to criticize.[xxxii]
The 'gentle' approach that police often adopt toward yakuza leaders helps restrain turf wars and other inter-gang violence by bringing 'organizational stability' to the underworld- strangely enough, this gives the metropolitan police more of a role as "mediators" than as gang-busters. In the meantime, the yakuza can return the favor by going after the isolated neighborhood pests and upstart "punks" who no longer fear the police.
These provisional alliances with organized crime and with the communications media are two 'legs' that help to support a third all-important element, the opinion of the general public. As mentioned before, micro-managing efforts like the "New Life Movement" essentially turned citizens into proxy policemen, an invaluable asset to even a police force as well-staffed as Tokyo's. The tightrope act that the police force must play with these other elements is tricky, but their willingness to even bother with it shows that they can ill afford to lose this valuable auxiliary police force. If, for no other reason, because these "regular people" scattered among Tokyo's labyrinthine districts have a more intimate knowledge of external and internal space than do the beat cops. This brings us, very belatedly, to the options that the underground has for re-shaping urban space in its own image.
(conclusion coming soon.)
[i] Reiko Tomii, "'International Contemporaneity' in the 1960s: Discoursing on Art in Japan and Beyond." Japan Review, No. 21 (2009), pp. 123-147 (p. 130.)
[ii] Reiko Tomii, " State v. (Anti-)Art: Model 1,000-Yen Note Incident by Akasegawa Genpei and Company." positions: east asia cultures critique 10:1, (Spring 2002), pp. 141-172 (p. 144.)
[iii] Ibid., p. 132.
[iv] Morag Josephine Grant, "Experimental Music Semiotics." International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, Vol. 34, No. 2 (December 2003), pp. 173-191 (p. 173-174.)
[v] Tomii (2002), p. 142.
[vi] Arata Isozaki quoted in Munroe, p. 28.
[vii] Realizing that crime could certainly be one of the effects of the art-life merger, Duchamp made a "wanted poster" with his own image on it (offering a reward of $2,000 for his capture.)
[viii] Simon Ford, Wreckers of Civilisation: The Story of COUM Transmissions and Throbbing Gristle. p. 6.18. Black Dog, London, 1999.
[ix] Vaclav Paris, " On Surrealism and the Art of Crime: Considered as One of the Fine Starts." Journal of Modern Literature, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Summer 2010), pp. 190-197 (p. 194.)
[x] Benjamin Péret quoted in Surrealism and the Art of Crime by Jonathan P. Eburne, p. 53. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 2008.
[xi] Yasunao Tone, Noise, Media, Language, p. 55. Errant Bodies Press, Los Angeles, 2007.
[xii] Nam June Paik quoted in Munroe, p. 80.
[xiii] According to Juntaro Yamanouchi, "The remain[ing] discs were simply were simply [those that were] forgotten there [sic] to be brought..." See https://www.artnotart.com/gero/info-int.fr.html. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
[xiv] Dasha Deklava, "In Parallel." Reproduced in Tone, p. 47.
[xv] Tomii (2002), p. 158.
[xvi] David Novak, "Playing Off Site: The Untranslation of Onkyo." Asian Music, 41:1 (Winter/Spring 2010), pp. 36-59 (p. 55n.)
[xvii] Ibid., p. 422.
[xviii] Article 77
[xix] Detlev Schauwecker, "Verbal Subversion and Satire in Japan, 1937-1945, as Documented by the Special High Police." Japan Review, No. 15 (2003), pp. 127-151 (p. 129.)
[xx] Peter Hadfield, "Newspapers in Japan." Index On Censorship July 1991, pp. 15-17 (p. 16.)
[xxii] Boye Lafayette de Mente, NTC's Dictionary of Japanese Cultural Code Words, p. 215. NTC Publishing Group, Lincolnwood IL, 1994.
[xxiii] Hadfield, p. 16.
[xxiv] Eiko Maruko Siniawer, Ruffians, Yakuza, Nationalists: The Violent Politics of Modern Japan, 1860-1960, p. 171. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 2008.
[xxv] 黒ダライ児、” 知覚の襖−都市空間における「ゼロ次元」の儀式." アール No. 2 (2003), pp. 24-29 (p. 24.)
[xxvi] Gregory W. Noble, "Let a Hundred Channels Contend: Technological Change, Political Opening, and Bureaucratic Priorities in Japanese Television Broadcasting." Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1. (Winter, 2000), pp. 79-109 (p. 87.)
[xxvii] Author uncredited, "Cultural Survey 1992." Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 48, No. 2 (Summer, 1993), pp. 247-259 (p. 253.)
[xxviii] email correspondence with the author, August 7 2008.
[xxix] A possibly abridged list of these includes "control [of] many of Japan's pornography shops, pachinko halls, gambling parlors, 'love hotels,' and prostitution rings" as well as "bars and sex clubs that are…able to ignore health, fire and safety regulations, hire illegal immigrants, and avoid paying taxes." See https://factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=810&catid=22&subcatid=147. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
[xxx] David T. Johnson, "Above The Law? Police Integrity in Japan." Social Science Japan Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1 (April 2003), pp. 19-37 (p. 31.)
[xxxi] An additional bit of anxiety over these strikes arose from the fact that numerous yakuza bosses worked within the construction industry, which was particularly prone to this kind of activity. See Eiko Mauko Sinawaier, "Befitting Bedfellows: Yakuza and the State in Modern Japan." Journal of Social History, Volume 45, Number 3 (Spring 2012) pp. 623-641 (p. 626.)
[xxxii] Ibid., p. 624.