Today, I got my first sighting of the famous black-ish vans of one of the Japanese nationalist groups:
Now, I don’t know too much about these groups other than the small amount I’ve read, but they’re usually ultra-right-wing, and often favour a return to Japan’s imperial era, serving under the Emperor. Post-World War II, Japan has a largely pacifist policy with heavy influence from the United States. I understand that the Nationalists are not big fans of this. By most accounts, they are not a group you would want to mess with, and have historically resorted to intimidation against ideological foes.
These guys were hard to miss. The blaring imperial-sounding music is the first giveaway. Follow that up with the long line of twelve weathered-looking, uniformly painted buses and vans fitted with megaphones and flags, and they stand out a bit. I didn’t find out a lot of detail about this particular group, other than that they were likely out today to mark the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki.
In spite of the deafening waves of marching music bouncing off the downtown buildings, most of the people around me didn’t bat an eyelid as the procession passed. I’m not sure what to compare them to exactly, but they seem to be a fixture around here, at least.