Thursday, November 12, 2009
Skeletons from the closet of every corrupt politician and smack-addicted celeb litter the back streets of Nakano, waiting to be found by those who know how to ask the right questions. Interested parties should take their inquiries past the steel door and up the stairs to Hammerhead, a depository of Japan’s living urban legends.
Mogi, the proprietor, knows everything worth knowing. If he can't answer your questions about true crime and depravity he can point you towards someone who can. Working in the the import figure business helped him make truly bizarre connections. He's been waist-deep in horror since before most of us even threw down for our first vinyl figure. He was there when Nakano Broadway was built and saw firsthand Mandarake grow from a single shoebox of a store to the ubiquitous Masters of Time that they are today. He's run with Bosozoku legends like Black Emperor and his old acquaintances have brought him more juicy stories on VIPs than all the gossip rags combined.
The décor is everything you’d expect from a guy who made his livelihood from running horror memorabilia in the 80’s. Mogi knows his stuff and each item reflects his personal taste, which in my book counts a hundred times more than cluttering your joint with all kinds of unrelated trinkets for the sake of mass appeal.
If you’re reading this blog then you obviously want to know what kind of filth is growing underneath Japan’s toenails, so you have no excuse not to make a pit stop on the way home from Nakano Broadway and grill the master for information. Just remember—Some things are kept secret for a reason.