All too often during these "Tales from the East" segments we talk about serious, and often depressing things. Deaths, suicides, lives taken too soon. Today however we get to talk about a fun and interesting story from 2012 that we don't think many would have heard about, at least not those outside of Japan.
On March 28th 2012 a man was pulled over by the police as the Seibu-Shinjuku Station. He was asked to explain what he did for a living, as he looked rather suspicious.
The man in question was sporting a seriously bruised and swollen face, rather unkempt hair, tattoos on his arm, wearing some sports clothes and was carrying a ruck sack with a spanner in it. He looked, for all intents, like a man who had, perhaps, been involved in a bit of a fight. Or was planning revenge for what had been done to him.
Unbeknowst to the police officer the man in question had indeed been in a big fight. In fact just a day earlier he had been in a world title fight at the Korakuen Hall. He had been stopped by the police officer on his way to a press conference, to talk about his big win the day before. He didn't want to start the conversation by telling the police man that he was a newly crowned boxing world champion, after all the fighter in question was known to be reserved and quite shy. Even if he was more confident, if the policeman didn't recognise him, it would likely seem like a lie to just blurt out that he was a world champion. Seemingly he didn't feel like he was famous enough to tell them who he was and instead spent 10 minutes answering questions from them.
For those wonder, that man was Yota Sato, who, just a day earlier, had beaten Suriyan Sor Rungvisai to win the WBC Super Flyweight title, shocking the talented Thai with 2 knockdowns to secure the win.
Whilst he may have explained his job, and why he was looking bruised and beaten, and even where he was going, you may be wondering why exactly did he have a spanner?
Well Sato might be a world class boxer but his big out of the ring hobby was skateboarding. He had the spanner to help tighten things on his board. Not to clobber people with.
So, a day after he won the WBC Super Flyweight title, Yota Sato was stopped by a policeman wanting explanations as to why he looked like he had been in a fight.
Apparently Sato was actually stopped again a few weeks later, though this time he was carrying his WBC Super Flyweight title around with him, helping to explain that he was indeed a world champion.
Interestingly this isn't actually a one off. There was also a case where Takahiro Ao, the then WBC Super Featherweight, was questioned by police in regards to bike thefts in Oji. Rather funnily Ao had previously been put in the position to be the Chief of the Kashiwa station for a day, meaning he had been in a "higher position" than the officer questioning him.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).