Whilst remaining illegal, dueling once again appears to be in vogue when it comes to settling disputes. As despite the arrest of several youths last year for breaking the 1889 law forbidding such practices, 12 teenagers from Tokyo and nearby Yokohama were recently apprehended and charged with causing bodily injury and dueling.
It turns out the duels were over the sale of a motorbike, and six pairs were formed to fight each other and resolve the disagreement. The rules of each bout stating that hair-pulling was (understandably) forbidden, and the contests would continue until one person gave up, or alternatively a severe pummeling resulted in an opponent ceasing to move. An added clause also ruled that fighting to the death, whilst not compulsory, was acceptable.
When the police arrived on the scene, one dueler had suffered injuries to his arm and head, yet the protagonists were decidedly unrepentant. One of the teenagers asking, “What’s wrong with hitting each other with consent?” A question that understandably cut no ice with the arresting officers.
For anybody interested in the results, the upstarts from Yokohama were beating the kids from the capital by 3 wins to 2. Meaning they were very close to victory when the police arrived, and (whilst I’m not sure about dueling etiquette) will presumably be awarded the victory by default.