Late last month, 27-year-old Kazuhiro Arita traveled from Osaka to Fukuoka. While there, according to News 24 and ANN, a 55-year-old man warned him about not wearing a mask, provoking Arita to allegedly punch him repeatedly in the head.
The incident happened at around 11 pm on May 1. At that time Osaka was under a state of emergency for covid-19, but Fukuoka was not. The prefecture has now been added to the list of locations across the country that are now included under the state of emergency. Arita had traveled to Fukuoka for the recent Golden Week holidays.
“I was hit first, so I beat him up,” Arita is quoted as saying. The middle-aged man, News 24, was injured with the blows causing bleeding to the back of his head. There appears to have been drinking involved on both parts.
Arita worked at one of the larger card game shops in central Osaka and was known on Japan’s Magic the Gathering scene, which might seem immaterial. However, one publication mentioned this to illustrate a point.
According to Shukan Josei Prime, Arita’s “true character” was that of a “quiet card game player.” The publication interviewed an employee at the card shop who said Arita was mild-mannered and did a good job of peacefully managing each card battle space at the shop. The employee added that, as far as he knew, not once had Arita caused anyone trouble. Plus, Arita was not said to be anti-mask and would wear one.
In the past, when someone with a gaming connection is arrested in Japan, the media has often jumped to conclusions and tried to assign blame. That doesn’t seem to be the case with this report, which mentions that, yes, remorse is needed for beating someone up over arguing about wearing a mask. The publication adds the spread of covid-19 is causing fatigue in Japan and an increase in these kinds of incidents.
In my experience here in the country, the vast majority of people are wearing masks, but especially with the new state of emergency declarations, make no mistake, weariness is setting in.