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Japan: Memories of an outlaw – Part One

After almost three years outside the walls, a blogger – who prefers to be anonymous – decided to tell the story of his life behind bars.
Arrested for a crime that he says didn't cause anybody’s death or injury, he blogs ‘to re-examine a life that recently has been twisted asunder’.

By Mrhayata, CC License.


The quotes below are excerpts from various posts originally written in Japanese and are published with the author's consent.

From the fact to the arrest

I committed the crime in winter, 7 years ago.
At that time I didn’t know why I did it but I was weak and I panicked and left. I went back home, took the car and started driving without knowing where I would end up..
In other words, I ran away.
In my mind, I had only the one thought: ‘I should apologize to my family by dying’. There were victims also but in that moment I really didn't have time to think about them…
As I said, I didn't hurt anybody, because the thing happened when they were not around.
Anyway, for two months I ran away all over Japan…
I slept in saunas, cheap capsule hotels or in parks. When I stayed in Nara Park and deer came close, it was very scary…

I was arrested in a capsule hotel in Tokyo. Until that time I had always used false names to check in but, I don't know why, that time I wrote my real name and address. So when the hotel employee saw it, he called the police.
The Police had been checking my bank account and knew that I was on the run all over the country, so an alert had been issued to every sauna and hotel in the areas where I had been.
It was 10 pm I think, when the curtain of the capsule where I was sleeping suddenly opened and one said “We are the Police, you know why we are here!”
There were three detectives and a police officer in the corridor of the hotel. As I was taken to the police car they didn't handcuff me but they held the back of my trousers very firmly. A barker from a nearby bar who had no clue of what was going on spoke to me but in that moment my mind was blank and I couldn't understand very well what was happening…

My life in the police cell

The morning after I was arrested, I woke at 7:00.
At 9:00 sharp, the detective came and I was taken to the interrogation room. That was the first time that they handcuffed me with my hands behind my back. The handcuffs felt tight and heavy. I now realized fully that I was under arrest.
That day the interrogation went on all day long. I didn't remember well and had forgotten some things but if I answered as I remembered the detective would hit the desk and yell “liar!” or “remember it”! I felt like I was watching a police movie and it's a mystery how I was able to stay calm.
The detective who was in charge of interrogating me wasn't a smoker so they told me I could smoke only 3 cigarettes in the middle of the interrogation. I only learnt after that it made no sense.
When I had to sign a few typewritten pages of record, I pointed out that there was a part different from what I had said. They said something like “It's pretty much the same, ain’t it” or some similar expression but I made them revise it. At that time I didn't know anything of the trial but afterward I was extremely glad that I had made them correct it…

In the police cell there were, yakuza bosses, mobsters, Chinese, Iraqis, Americans and so on. The crimes were various. The foreigners and the mobsters were an uncaring bunch but the bosses were helpful. They gave to a greenhorn like me toiletries and snacks.
The police station where I was had relatively good treatment and once a week they would do some shopping for you if you could pay. I could buy potato chips, candies, juices, sweets, bread or things for one day.
What left me without words was an American who had become violent so from the beginning they put him alone in a cell for women or minors. He would scream at night, hit the police and throw shit…So each time they moved him there needed to be three police officers. He used to say “You are being abusive to Americans because you lost the war!” What nonsense.
The interpreter had a hard time…

To be continued

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