Japan’s favourite police officer, “DJ Police,” strikes again; this time, a hanabi festival

The Katsushika Noryo Hanabi Taikai, a popular fireworks event (hanabi means fireworks) took place recently in Tokyo. To pre-empt spectators from creating a disorganized chaotic mass of people, police officers were dispatched to the scene in order to sit everyone orderly. However, spectators were amused by the rather witty and sarcastic tone in which they were being ordered about—an officer whose mannerisms and frank phrases gained him the moniker of “DJ Police” (think of a hip hop DJ) by Japanese netizens, was the one in charge of the operation.


DJ Police urging Japanese gentlemen to aid their damsels in distress

DJ Police urging Japanese gentlemen to aid their damsels in distress

Some quotes from DJ Police:

“Gentleman, please gently escort out the as-beautiful-as-hanabi, yukata-wearing (summer kimono) ladies.”

“Sir, I advise you, seeing as how you are the father and [thus the] leader of your family, to take them to the open space to the right. Your family will be proud of you.”

“For the sake of the important and special hanabi [photos], do not run out of data storage space in your cell phone cameras, please.”


Despite the event being eventually shut down due to rain, hanabi attendants did not seem upset, precisely because of the presence of Japan’s soon-to-be favourite public servant. In the words of one “as-beautiful-as hanabi, yukata-wearing” lady: “Because I could see DJ Police, I was happy!”

DJ Police's number 1 groupie: a as-beautiful-as hanabi, yukata-wearing lady

DJ Police’s number 1 groupie: a as-beautiful-as hanabi, yukata-wearing lady

From Seattle With Love

My name is Elie, I am a Waseda University exchange student from Seattle, and I am excited to be writing for this blog.

As exchange students, we have only a limited time in Japan, and I think we all feel like we need to make the most of it. For me, that means participating in as many different activities as I can while I am here. I am in two “circles” (university clubs) at Waseda, one a soccer club and the other a group of hip-hop enthusiasts including plenty of DJs and emcees. Like many other exchange students I know, I can also be easily convinced to take part in any activity that is labeled as being “Japanese.” In the past, this has led me to partake in such past-times as mochi-making and Japanese calligraphy, but it could also mean taking a trip to the local bath house or staying up all night singing karaoke. Just because something is not traditional that does not mean it is not a cultural experience.

As there are so many differences between my life here and in America, I am sure I will have plenty to write about on this blog. In addition to posting daily observations of things I find interesting around Tokyo, I can hopefully provide good advice and recommendations to current exchange students and those who are considering studying abroad in Japan. For me, Japan is a weird but mostly awesome place, and I look forward to writing about it!

Me at a homestay in Fukui Prefecture.

Me at a homestay in Fukui Prefecture.