We thought Japan was weird with the fact that you can almost buy anything you need or want in a vending machine, but when we heard that there is a law against people dancing in clubs back in May, we lost our minds! It’s a little bit like the fun police at the cricket (but a bit more hectic as you are about to read)
After a string of brutal nightclub incidents occurring and the 2010 bashing and death of a male in a brawl outside a club in Osaka, Japanese authorities had, had enough. The solution to these distasteful incidences – take an old nonchalant law ‘fueiho’ as the Japanese feds would call it, seriously again… Decades later.
The law entails clubs having to purchase a ‘dancing license’ while also having “66m2 of unobstructed floor space” while the venue must also “close by either midnight or 1am,” if they want the privilege of letting their clubbers shake what their mumma’s gave em. Because logic is, if there are people dancing, someone is probably going to get really angry because humans dance when they are angry. Makes complete sense…
Cue late 2013 and like the mighty morphin’ power rangers except without the coloured tights or the monster robot, a group of lawyers came together in Japan and called themselves collectively and rightly so ‘Let’s Dance’. The group partake in assisting embittered club owners in small battles with the courts helping them to convince the legal system clubbing isn’t evil. May I also add this is living proof that lawyers like to party (as well as become politicians).
With the act of wriggling your body in a darkened room against the law and a major petition squashed after it was submitted to the Diet, Japan’s national parliament after generating a whopping 155,879 signatures from their supporters the Japanese authorities seemed to have moved into even further control.
Not all hope is lost with dance lawyers on the prowl and Mike Sunda of The Japan Times thinking change is just around the corner;
“in a sense that they’ve managed to get attention and understanding of the problem from some of the politicians [who are now] actively trying to amend the law. With everything building towards [the] general election, I can’t imagine there’s been much chance for politicians to focus on anything else,” he said. “Hopefully now we might see some progress.”
Will we witness this unique part of Asia strangle it’s own nightlife?