Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Yakuza dream

My Yakuza dream.

Today is November 24, 2009. I just woke up from a nap. I started at about 6:00 pm and woke up about 7 minutes ago at 9:00 pm. I had a dream about the Yakuza. The dream was instigated by hearing Jake Adelstein talk about his book Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan. I was listening to a podcast of the interview on National Public Radio's show Fresh Air.

In my dream I was walking along the beach with Japanese friends, and one told the other in Japanese: "remember I was telling you about the perfect beach, this is one of those beaches." I assumed they were talking about a place of solitude and quiet, or for finding oysters for eating. we wer at a place where the surf ended at low tide under a highway overpass. We were among the pillars. I saw something shiny in the low water and sand, and fished out a small badge with the symbol for police on it. It wasnt the size of a real police badge and didnt have the proper weight, it was a replica that you would buy in a store or a security guard might wear. My friends walked ahead and I stuck my hand deeper into the sand and this time pulled out a tag that a dog might wear on a collar with a number written on it, it was the number 1,112 in Japanese.

I remembered that my friend had once gone to another beach at night, we took three cars. They said they were going to dig for oysters and I should stay in the car and not leave. With a glimpse I saw something suspicious, but never thought about it again. From the lead car I could barely make out that they were pulling a large burlap bag out of the back. My friend came over and started to talk to me and my attention was diverted away.

I went back to that beach at night with a flashlight and a metal detector. It took me hours but when I got the signal from the metal detector, I reached down in the wet sand of the surf and again I found the toy police badge. I took my shovel and tried digging deeper to see if I would find a second badge, or find another dog tag. I reached and dug with my hand, deeper till my arm was up to my elbow in muck. I found something with my hand, it was amorphous and I pulled and I tugged. The sand eventually gave way and I fell back onto my ass in the surf. When I looked down I was holding a severed human arm. I let out a scream and someone heard it. Now flashlights were heading my way running. I got up and started to run too, I dropped the hand and ran back to where I parked the car. That's when I realized I no longer had my keys, they had fallen into the sand.

The last part of my dream, where I woke up. I was in my office in Japan putting together the pieces of what I had uncovered. I had found a Yakuza burial ground where they bury the dead and the limbs that are amputed from members that have disgraced the family. And the limbs of people who borrowed money that they cannot pay back.

The police badges were used to get the victim into a state of compliance. They were told the police wanted to question them, they were handcuffed and taken to what appeared to be an ordinary car with the windows with dark glass. How they were killed, I don't know. The tag with the number was to keep track of the victim, the matching one was sent to the family. The police badges were buried in the surf with the bodies.

I then became very paranoid and bought a gun on the back market. Guns are rare in Japan, and I used most of my savings to buy it. As I investigated more I became more and more paranoid. I was in my office alone late at night and heard a noise. Was I just being paranoid again? Again I heard a noise, whispering in Japanese and the sound of my mail slot door opening and closing. I noticed that the basket just under my mail slot had something in it that wasn't there before. I reached in and saw that it was my car keys, and attached to them was a dog tag. As I made the realization a hand reached through the mail slot and grabbed my hand and was pulling it out through the mail slot. I could hear yelling in Japanese and whatever was pulling my hand through the slot was winning. My eyes were level with the slot I was now on my butt and I could see two people outside and the second person was bring a knife to my hand ...

... and that is where I woke up.