Saturday, March 04, 2006

When a Man Hits a Woman

Apparently it's OK for a man to hit a woman here in Japan. I just saw it again with my own two eyes out in front of the sushi restaurant across the street.

Lots of families have lunch at the sushi restaurant after visiting their deceased relative's tomb at the local cemetery. Saturdays and Sundays are busy days at the cemetery. As one family poured out of the restaurant, an argument erupted between a youngish looking woman (I live on the second floor across the street), and an older man. He had probably just had a few because his face was bright pink. I don't know if it was a father-daughter argument, or a quarrel between more distant family members. The outcome, however, was much easier to define.

The older guy punched a younger guy in the jaw (who was obviously on the woman's side of the equation), and then socked the woman in the side of the head. A lot of other family members (about 10) had gathered at this point, and they did an OK job of separating the beater and the beaten. But as I've learned to expect here in Japan, the old man was allowed to just walk away.

The woman had long since flipped out, and after a couple minutes of wrangling with other members of her family, she ran up the road after the guy who had dealt her the right hook. I could hear the makings of another quarrel about 100 meters up the road, but my bathroom window opens in an awkward way, so I wasn't able to see. The ladies who cut hair up at the beauty parlor probably witnessed an interesting performance.

This incident (12:50pm) was similar to the last time I saw a man punch a woman in that the woman was treated as the criminal.

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