There are adults who have the sagacity to sell girls who are not yet old enough to be in school. I think it is disgusting to do such things 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 volunteer group “Kabukicho Manjikai,” which operates 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 wish was not granted. …… Ogawa is said to have summoned the girl to his home more than 20 times until now.
This magazine closely followed the activities of the Kabukicho Manjikai late last November. 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-gres organization. Our activities are mainly volunteer work, such as picking up trash and helping out at soup kitchens. I stop fights when they break out, 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 promiscuous relationships with minors since that time.
There is no doubt that he was very enthusiastic about volunteer work,” he said. But there were days when he just sat on the ground, drank alcohol, put on music, and made noise. He says it was a ‘daily routine. It was not 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 less surprised and more weirdly convinced.”
Howl 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.)
Photo： Shinji Hasuo, Takero Yuzuku