Howl of Kabukicho Died Just Before His First Trial — Uncovering His Story and His True Face | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Howl of Kabukicho Died Just Before His First Trial — Uncovering His Story and His True Face

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Howl was interviewed by this magazine. His long hair, of which he is very proud, was dyed a beautiful purple at the time of the interview.

On November 15, it was reported that Masatomo Ogawa, aka “Howl Kalashnikov,” the head of a group called “Kabukicho Manjikai,” had died in the “Toyoko” district of Kabukicho, Tokyo. Ogawa was arrested on June 22 on suspicion of indecent assault of a girl under the age of 18, and his first trial was scheduled to be held on November 22.

Ogawa is believed to have died after his health suddenly deteriorated in his room at the Tokyo Detention Center where he was detained. This issue of FRIDAY reported on what he had said during previous interviews at the time of his arrest in June. The following is a transcript (age, title, etc., as they were at the time).

“There are adults who were selling girls who are not yet old enough to be in school. I think it’s disgusting to do that to children who don’t have a place to stay. We want peace, so we want to stop it.”

On June 22, the Juvenile Development Division of the Metropolitan Police Department arrested Masatomo Ogawa, 32, a suspect with an unknown occupation who called himself “Howl Kalashnikov” and was the representative of the Kabukicho Manjikai, a volunteer group active in Kabukicho. Howl is suspected of violating the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Youth Sound Upbringing Ordinance by engaging in lewd acts with a 16-year-old girl he met around August of last year, in December and March of this year.

Ogawa was the head of a group called “Kabukicho Manjikai,” which organizes soup kitchens and cleanup activities in the area around TOHO Cinemas Shinjuku in Kabukicho, commonly known as “To-Yoko.” The incident came to light last November when the mother of the victim girl consulted the police. The mother herself went to Tohyoko and complained, “It’s not right to let a minor stay there after 11 p.m.” and “I don’t want her to get involved. However, her opinion was ignored.” Ogawa is said to have summoned the girl to his home more than 20 times until now.

He usually works as a tattoo artist. His back is covered in tattoos.

In late November 2021, this magazine closely followed the activities of the Kabukicho Manjikai. On that occasion, we caught a glimpse of Howl’s true face.

On the day of the interview, we visited a designated corner of Kabukicho, where more than 20 people, ranging from young people in their 20s to elderly people in their 60s, were hanging out. In the center of the crowd was Howl. His long hair was dyed purple and his upper body was covered with tattoos. When the reporter asked him timidly, “Are you a semi-gangster organization?” Howl laughed and said, “We are working for peace.”

“We have no ties to the Yakuza, and we are not a semi-gang organization. Our activities are mainly volunteer work, such as picking up trash and helping out at soup kitchens. I stop fights when they happen, and I also monitor the Toyoko Kids to make sure that bad adults stay away from them.”

He then gave the order, and the members began patrolling the Toyoko neighborhood, picking up trash. They talked to people who were drunk and lying on the side of the road, talked to runaway girls with suitcases and brought them into the circle of friends. The activities went on until 4:00 in the morning.

“I love Kabukicho. We consider it our town, so we want to clean it up. In the future, I want to run a children’s home. Children who have no relatives. But first, I will start with what I can do. My goal right now is to make Kabukicho as peaceful as possible.”

After saying these words, Howl disappeared into the crowds of Kabukicho before dawn.

At the time of the interview, he was passionate about his own dream. However, according to a former member of the Kabukicho Manjikai, he had been rumored to be involved in inappropriate relationships with minors since that time.

“There is no doubt that he was very enthusiastic about volunteer work,” he said. “There were days when he just sat on the ground, drank alcohol, put on music, and made noise. He says it was his ‘daily routine.’ It wasn’t done every day. I also heard rumors that he was repeatedly committing lewd acts against several underage girls at Manjikai. When I heard about the incident, I was not surprised and more convinced.”

Howl said he denies the charges, saying, “I knew her, but I was told she was 19 years old.” Peace will never come to Kabukicho as long as there are adults who take advantage of children who come to Toyoko to fill the gaps in their hearts and do evil. (Some titles in the text are omitted.)

Howl is sent to the police station. Before getting into the convoy, he shouted to the reporters, “I’ll cook you dinner again!” and so on.
  • Photo by Shinji Hasuo, Takero Yuzuku

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