A Great Idea For Hachiko Crossing, Shibuya

The crossing at Hachiko in Shibuya must be one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in the world. Nestled as it is in such a perfect natural and artificial amphitheater, something needs to be staged there, something ridiculous, something dumbfounding even, and I think I know exactly what.


I want to see a large crowd of people decked out in traditional battle clothing such as kilts, and it would be best if most of them were wearing no shirt, and with primitive and probably fake weapons, no definitely fake, we don’t want to go to jail, like spears and battle axes and shields and clubs and I want to see them line up on both sides of the street between Hachiko and Starbucks, just (seemingly) randomly congregate at a designated time and when the light turns green, all will raise a huge shout of “FREEDOM!” with the gnashing of teeth and the beating of breasts and the raising of primitive (fake) weaponry before charging across the street to meet in (mock) battle until the light changes back and we all must get out of the street once again.

Of course, this will not be a genuine call for freedom. This is Japan, we are all free, there will be no actual political motivation involved in this act.

This being a Braveheart-based simulation, I would love to see as many tall meaty hairy highlander-types with untamed locks of red hair flapping like flags in the wind, men and women alike for these modern times. But let us not limit ourselves to this. There are many cultures of the world that have a rich history of glorious sinewy half-starved barbarians storming into battle for country and kin. For example, perhaps a Mongol Horde would also be appropriate in this case. Maybe on horseback. Or maybe fake horseback, like little stick horsies; the logistics of real horses seems complicated for Shibuya. We’ll make it a giant multicultural celebration of the crushing of enemies and the seeing of them driven before us. Wear beards, if possible.

Speaking of celebrations, it is important that we not stop after the battle is over and stand around in Hachiko square and talk and congratulate ourselves on our success and wit. No, that would look stupid and ruin the point, like if the guy carrying the boom box through the Starbucks blasting Toto’s Roseanna in one of those flash mobs or whatever were to crack a self-satisfied smile with just the briefest of eye-contact on his fifth pass-through, making you want to take your battle axe and cleave his smug little document-shuffling self in twain from face to nether regions with nary a pause. No, we must get out of there as quickly as possible, perhaps by bus, yes, we could charter a couple of buses, a couple of huge black buses, no, wait, not black buses, not in Japan, dear god, no, okay but a couple of buses, and these buses will be carefully timed to drive up and spirit us far from the fray, somewhere like Ueno or maybe Osaka, where we can go to our own private Valhalla for the imbibing of barrels of mead and soft drinks. Perhaps there will be large quantities of meat? Yes, meat, dripping meat, still on the bone in fact. We must eat with our hands. Although of course vegetarian selections must also be offered, we do not wish to discriminate, this is an equal-opportunity scrum. I honor vegetarians, they are making the best choice for themselves and our planet. But ye gods, nothing goes down better than meat after a battle.

Okay, someone needs to organize. What, me? No, I don’t have the cognitive capacity to lead. But someone does, I know someone does. No, I’m just the idea guy. Someone can run with this idea, no need to give me credit or pay for the idea, no it’s free, it’s out there, it’s public domain, although I will not dismiss it should someone raise a toast to the idea man at the after-(fake)slaughter celebrations, perhaps raise him on their shoulders and sing a round of praises? But yes, take the idea and run with it, run to the hills, or rather the valleys, The Valley, the shibu-ya, yes, run shouting your cries of freedom for all to hear. This must be done.

Originally written c. 2005

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