tv Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown CNN June 21, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
a country closed off to most for so long, sleeping, a 50-year nightmare for many of its citizens, finally, maybe, waking up. to what? time will tell. pity the salary man. tokyo's willing cog in an enormous machine requiring long hours, low pay, total dedication. and sometimes, what's called karoshi, death by overwork. here in a society of tight spaces and many expectations, the pressure is on to keep up appearances, to do what's expected, to not let the interior life become exterior. but at night, things are different.
♪ sha la la la la la la ♪ sha la la la la ♪ sha la la la la la la what do you need to know about tokyo? deep, deep waters. the first time i came here, it was like -- it was a transformative experience. it was a powerful and violent experience. it was as if -- it was just like taking acid for the first time. meaning what do i do now? i see the whole world in a different way. i often compare the experience of going to japan for the first time, going to tokyo for the first time, to what eric clapton and pete townsend must have gone
through. the reigning guitar gods of england. what they must have gone through the week that jimi hendrix came to town. you hear about it, you go see it. a whole window opens up into a whole new thing. and you think, what does this mean? what do i have left to say? what do i do now? >> welcome to tokyo. you are not invited. this is the other tokyo. 12-hour flight and i'm baked. no sleep.
might as well -- must -- go out. ♪ the kabukicho district near my hotel has the advantage of being where the subterranean life, the repressed ids of the japanese male, and some female too, comes out to play. joining me is japanese film producer and production manager maso sokubel. always a good sign when protective chains separate entertainers from the soon-to-be entertained, right? prepare yourself for the greatest show in the history of entertainment. >> a long time ago on a planet far away --
>> have you? >> i've seen janis joplin. i've seen david bowie, diamond dogs. i've seen jason robars on "moon for the misbegotten" on broadway considered one of the greatest productions ever. this was the greatest show i've ever seen in my life! it had it all! it was the greatest show in the history of entertainment. i don't understand it. i'm completely confused. there's like 100 people working on that show. millions of dollars worth of like robots and technology. how do they make money? >> one thing for sure about this area, quite a lot of businesses aren't spoken but governed by the yakuza. >> yakuza, that's the fraternal organization prominent in the entertainment and financial services sector, as they say, who is said to supervise things here. principally, your arcades, gambling, pachenko, adult entertainment, porn shops and sex clubs, along with other ancillary services.
but how much actual boning is going on in the sex district? generally speaking, it's more a field of dreams than the actual act of sex. hostess cafes, for instance, where a lonely, overworked salary man can find the attention of cute, seemingly adoring girls who find their every utterance fascinating. so now a hostess bar -- i just want somebody to tell me i'm fantastic. oh, you're so interesting. your job is interesting. you are a very sexy man. i don't care what your wife says. i think you're really interesting. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> penetration, maybe by a q-tip in the ear, followed by a personal love spell in this case to make your tea taste better.
♪ what is this place? what's happening here? are these boys? >> young boy host clubs, not for men but for middle-aged ladies who are bored with the regular housewife life. >> wait a minute. you've got a million guys wandering around here, looking to get -- they've got a whole bunch of bored, middle-aged housewives coming in here. >> spending. spending quite a lot of money. >> why don't they go to the same club and somebody will actually have sex? >> people don't like getting rejected, so they sort of pay for their pleasure. and they make you feel welcome. maybe you can feel like, hm, i'm not that bad, after talking to those girls or boys. >> that's the saddest thing i've ever heard. >> well -- >> no. that's heartbreaking, dude. is the business of shinjuko dreams? >> it is more for the dream of doing so, which is never going to happen. >> really? all of this -- i mean, it is a very enticing -- i mean, look at this. wait a minute.
she looks like she really likes me. look. she's got her tongue tucked up the corner of her mouth. >> which one? that's a boy. >> oh. whatever. ♪ golden gong. my favorite place to drink in tokyo. hundreds of microsized bars, each different from the other with their own microcrowd. i love it here. ♪ i've never been here. maybe i have. i don't know. this place is one of maso's favorites, bar albatross. a few seats, strong drinks, the definition of a hole in the wall.
now, do people come here right from work, drink all night and then go back to work? [ speaking japanese ] >> oh, salary man. >> salary man? would a salary man bring his wife here? [ speaking japanese ] so look, in america, the bartender is like a priest. >> so you come and talk to them? >> i can tell them all of my problems. and i could behave very badly and he will never talk, ever. this is the contract. >> okay. >> absolute confidentiality. do i have that kind of arrangement here now? [ speaking japanese ] so i have his implied guarantee of total security? >> yeah. >> so if i came here with some dinosaur-riding ho in a bikini? >> what?
>> you don't have to ask. oh, man. this is a great country. every chef i know wants to die here. >> it's not about the food. >> because the food is awesome. and because we -- i think all of us understand that we don't understand anything about japan. and i totally don't understand the porn here. why is it okay? you can't [ bleep ] somebody with a penis, but you can [ muted ] them with an octopus tentacle? another left his shoes on the plane... his shoes! and a third simply doesn't want to be here. ♪ until now...
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tradition of martial arts. many styles, many schools. the yurakura gym in toshima ward focuses on boxing. and this man, kenji, is a legend, having trained generations of fighters using a simple and effective philosophy that has some real application to our story. there it is pasted on the wall behind the ring. one, speed. two, timing. three, distance. the same idea applies to the convention-shunning sushi techniques of new york city legend naomichi yasuda. until recently, the chef partner of one of the very best, if not the best, sushi restaurant in new york. the eponymous sushi yasuda. a short while ago, under very
mysterious and completely misreported circumstances, he left the manhattan restaurant which still bears his name. and at age 52, moved to tokyo to start all over again. i was determined to track him down and see what the hell he was doing. these days, this great man is running a 14-seat sushi bar in the manado district of tokyo. his wife naomi is his only helper. >> welcome to new place. thank you for coming. >> why did you do such a hard thing? >> this city, tokyo, this is kind of the maker of the sushi. so i just want to be the sushi chef in tokyo. >> yasuda is a friend, and my master in the sense that he's taught me pretty much everything i know about sushi over the
years. he's a very, very interesting and complex man who constantly surprises. >> this is the most expensive wasabi. so i wait, wait, wait. finally this goes to the discount box. then i bought this. >> it's very french of you. so many things separate yasuda-san from other japanese sushi masters. the most noticeable is his hands. they're huge. look at the knuckles. enormous from years of pounding cement walls during repeated daily practice in kyokushin karate. he first trained and competed in tokyo. when he came to new york, he continued to practice. often in underground, bare-knuckle matches, you fight until someone gets beaten to the ground. this style yasuda practiced was
about beating your opponent as quickly and as aggressively as possible. speed. every second is important. rice is getting cold, seaweed is getting soggy, fish, less than perfect temperature. look at his posture. a fighter's stance. distance, knowing the perfect spot to be. moving in and out as needed. never out of position. timing. reacting to his customers' pace of eating, their ever-changing desires, always ready for the next move. most people who don't understand sushi will go to a sushi bar and say, oh, i had the best sushi last night. the fish was so fresh. it was right out of the ocean. >> the freshest fish, there is no taste. just chewing, just hard. and people think freshest should be good. but it wasn't. >> yasuda's menu changes constantly with what he finds in
the market. and like thousands of other sushi chefs, he heads every day to tsukiji, tokyo's central fish market, where nearly 3,000 tons of the world's best seafood arrives every day. but unlike most others at his level who arrive at 4:00 a.m. to cream off what they perceive as the best and freshest, yasuda-san arrives later. he does not buy the ridiculously expensive otoro, the fatty belly meat of the bluefin tuna that people have been known to pay hundreds of dollars a pound for. instead, he buys tuna from the heads, using his knife skills to go for qualities that most others miss, removing every bit of sinew from what would otherwise be a difficult piece of meat. in total, it's, well, perfect. and he cures the results. actually cures it. breaking down its molecular structure in a desirable way by freezing it quickly in a medical-grade blast freezer where it will stay for a week or
longer at minus 82 degrees celsius. he pioneered this technique years ago in new york, where if you bothered to ask, he would have proudly told you that the absolutely unbelievably sublime piece of perfect sushi you were eating was frozen. >> delicious. >> thank you very much. >> which is more important, the rice or the fish? >> rice. >> more important? what percentage? >> about 90%. >> wow. >> fish is the second ingredient. the main ingredient is rice. so my sushi is rice. >> yasuda, he still trains, though his fighting days are over. he says he was tired of hurting people. he brings me to the dojo to try and show me how his sushi technique and kyokushin karate are one and the same.
yuki kamio, the master. nice. >> many of the people ask me, what's the point between the karate and the sushi? but this moment is so much good for when i make my sushi because of the stance. the other different type of karate, the stance is a little bit more upper. so this karate is a little bit more deep. this.
so standing in front of the cutting board, little bit of the deep stance and movement. deep stance and body movement and watch from left to the right. move this, move this. watch this and watch this. this is the key. so this karate is my sushi moves. ♪ >> now, in an official tournament, two-minute rounds. >> two-minute round. and the result you're looking for is points? >> points, or knockdown. but two minutes fight. one minutes fight.
that's most hardest. >> it's underground. you can just work on their legs for five, seven minutes to slow them down. then you go in? >> yes. and no compromise. just do it. whatever happen, no excuse. see the result good or not. if it's bad, try again. don't give up. >> right. >> this is my sushi. >> perfect. c'mon, you want heartburn? when your favorite food starts a fight, fight back fast, with tums. heartburn relief that neutralizes acid on contact. and goes to work in seconds. ♪ tum, tum tum tum... tums!
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her day job is doing this. and i gather from what she tells me that she gets plenty of work. ♪ ♪ >> the taito ward of tokyo. another complicated warren of businesses, layer upon layer. where they are well represented. places where a hard-working salary man can have a beer or sake. or many beers and many sakes.
and salty, savory, delicious snacks that go brilliantly with alcohol. please. yes. tomika brings me to one of them, daitoro, to meet some friends. kusaia, grilled fermented fish, followed by skewers of beef intestine and chicken. this place is known for its motsunabe, intestine stew with miso. so we order some of that as well. this is naga, invited along to help translate. naga runs a custom service company but he also teaches pole dancing for men. then there's this man, kinoko, one of the best-known and respected practitioners, a master of shibari, the art of
ropes, of beautiful knots, of what for lack of a better word we call bondage. so how big is the sadomasochistic community? how many people are active participants? >> translator: 100,000 people. >> a lot? >> a lot. >> this is shubari, translation, to bind. and to make things more confusing for those looking for a concise takeaway, a comfortable reaction for what sure as hell looks pretty disturbing. tomika, who spends most of her time whipping, burning, and generally abusing men, enthusiastically reverses roles in her longtime relationship with hajami. it looks like a very delicate procedure. does it hurt?
or does it feel good? >> translator: this pain change to the necessity. she said when she was tied up, no need to think. just leave it to -- she love it. ♪ >> performance art, craft, fetish, or compulsion. it's an old and shockingly omnipresent feature of japanese popular fantasy culture. magazines, movies, even comic books. the intricate restraint of a willing victim is -- well, it's there. not far from the surface.
what percentage of japanese men are interested in either tying up women or subjugating? >> translator: all of them. >> all of them? well, then, the question is how many japanese men like to be tied up? >> translator: all of them. >> so in your experience, all japanese men like to tie women up. but in your experience, all japanese men like to be tied up. ♪ who's more [ muted ] up sexually, americans or japanese? >> translator: same. >> she says you need to be tied up.
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in japan, increasing numbers of people don't. they continue to live a life inside four walls, inside their mind, the life we call the computer geek, the nerd, as avatars. there's a name for it, a whole subculture of what's called otaku. once a derisive term, now a proud identifier of the geek, one who has turned his back on the real world and finds satisfaction elsewhere. manga, or comic books, hold a different place in the cultural landscape here and address different needs. there's yaoi, for example. otherwise known as boys love manga, extremely popular with teenage girls. stories change, but the core themes are sexually ambiguous boys getting very friendly with each other. what legions of young girls and soccer moms find compelling in the thousands of these titles, something of a mystery to outsiders looking in, but there they are. whole sections of manga
bookshops dedicated to basically one direction type boy band figures having sex with each other. yaoi isn't generally explicit, though it can be. some of the most popular manga are, however. lured by, over the top illustrated stories of incredible violence, rape, murder, and sexual fetishism. toshiyo is a manga creator like few others, the father of what could only be described as tentacle porn. his 1986 manga was about half-human, half-bestial space invaders in search of an evil supreme being. it contained unbelievably graphic, lurid, violent, and one would argue offensive images of sex acts involving not sexual organs, but other protuberances. it became a huge hit and has
been imitated wildly, both in other manga and in live-action films. a whole genre of lurid, but extraordinarily well-drawn madness. at a restaurant, toshiyo tries to explain. >> this girl seems like a high school girl. basically, it's forbidden. >> notice, by the way, the distinguished owner and her complete lack of shock or offense at the graphic, frankly horrifying images of rape, violation, and murder spread casually across the table for all to see. japanese manga, ones that everyone reads on the subway home, even. well, they're different. the big breakthrough was you couldn't draw penises, you couldn't draw specifically orifices. you couldn't actually show humans penetrating each other. >> in japan. >> right. >> it was a big no-no at that time.
so i invented tentacles to be evasive about the law. >> also demons. >> demons. yes. >> that's fantastic. whether you meant to at the time, you absolutely changed the world of manga. you created an entire spectrum of pornography that didn't exist before. i mean, if you go to youtube now, there's tentacle manga. there is tentacle and demon manga. there is tentacle and demon anime. a lot. that looks good. for dinner, there's fresh bonito seared quickly over flame, arranged in bite-sized pieces, garnished with daikon, fresh greens, sprouts and ponzu. toshio comes here commonly for a favorite of sumo wrestlers as
part of a weight gain diet. basically it's a hot pot of meat and vegetables. chicken, pork, beef, fish bowls keep getting fed into the pot. usually alongside much beer and rice. adding that much-needed bulk-up factor so important for sumo wrestlers and cable tv hosts. so, appealing to the hidden desires of a manga-buying audience, men want filthier, dirtier, more violent? >> in japan, you can't be rude in public. >> right. >> but you need to just, you know, i can say that letting off steam. so for me, the manga is one way to do that. >> what do women want? generally speaking, what do women want in manga? >> yaoi. boys. you know? because they don't have enough experience to do that with real men. >> but nobody's going to the
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the pop music scene in tokyo is not that different than ours. with an accent, though, on pretty boy bands, pop idols, tween stars. generic, industry-created crap, for the most part. like i said, not so different than us. picture an army of miley cyruses. or would that be miley cyri? going against the grain are a few lone heroes, like virgin moon. ♪ two self-released albums and no hint of a record deal. damn suits. what do they know? lead singer yu. sweet, shy, friendly, lilith fair? no. ♪
so how big an audience in japan for thrash metal, death metal, hardcore? >> we had ozzy osbourne oz fest this year for the first time in japan. i feel like people are seeing the heavy metal scene as a new movement. >> and the audiences? good audiences here? >> they are kind of polite. >> polite, really? >> yeah. really quiet. just watching us. and when we finish playing, they suddenly clap. >> really? ♪ when i look at popular music, the stuff that's selling millions of records in america, it makes me angry, actually. >> you mean you sometimes get
angry with people? >> yeah. if i see nickelback, i want to kill myself. okay? i want to kill them, and then i want to kill myself. and then i want to kill everybody who listens to them. okay? what's so funny? it's true. i mean, what band do you hate? a band that i would know. who's the worst band in the world? the worst popular band in the world? >> my chemical romance. >> who? >> my chemical romance. >> oh, my chemical romance. yes. hate them. that's a good one. ♪ can you make a living?
>> no. not at all. >> not at all? >> we all have part-time jobs. >> you all have jobs. what do your families think when they see you doing this kind of music? >> we are 22 to 25 years old. it's the hunting job season. in our lives. >> so there's pressure on you. >> yeah. we all went to university. >> right. the expectation, the pressure is okay, get a real job. >> yeah. >> put aside this rock 'n' roll shit and get a real job. in a perfect world, would you like to play rock 'n' roll every night? would you like to play metal every night? >> yeah. if i could keep doing this. >> can you? yeah, these guys look like lifers. ♪
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tokyo may well be the most amazing food city in the world. with a nearly unimaginable variety of places stacked one on top of the other, tucked away on every level of densely packed city streets. at lawsons, you can dig into their unnaturally fluffy, insanely delicious, incongruously addictive egg salad sandwiches. i love them! layer after layer after layer of awesome. crowded eateries serving who knows what. but it all smells delicious and looks enticing. in the tiny almost micro-neighborhood of nakamaguro, tokyo, all is quiet. and amazingly for right here in the middle of this eye-goggling, pinball machine of a city, green. yasuda lives near here and he loves this place. a low-key joint to enjoy family meals and meet friends.
>> i so much appreciate seeing you and all of the people from the u.s. >> well, we miss you. >> i miss new york city. >> i'll tell you something really terrible. every relationship i've ever had with a woman, at some point very early on, i bring them to yasuda in new york. and i would watch how they eat. if they talk too much, if they didn't understand how to eat sushi, if they did not eat the uni, we will never have a relationship. that's it. that's the end. ♪ they don't serve high-end sushi here. or elaborate fare. it's almost like hipster tempura. this style of food is known as kushiagei. skewers of delicious things dipped in batter and fried. perfect. yasuda-san orders up shrimp and basil, lotus root, octopus and
pickled quail eggs. you also have to have their take on egg batter pancake that can be filled with many things. for us, it's squid brushed with worcestershire sauce. >> wow. that's awesome. >> i've been coming here many times, but this is the first time to eat. >> love this dish. you lived in new york, what, 14 years? 18 years? >> 27 years. since 1984 to 2011. >> 27 years in new york. that changes a person. >> very much. >> you're a new yorker now. >> yes. >> what was the hardest thing to get used to when you first came here? >> culture. >> the culture. >> the culture is so much different between the u.s. and here. and -- so interesting always. i never, ever get bored. >> i never get bored and i always learn new things in
manhattan. but there's 15, 20 different manhattans in tokyo, to me. i mean, from my perspective, these are completely different cities. even building to building. pachenko down here. nightclub for men, nightclub for girls, nightclub for rock and rollers, hair salon. but all up. 15 different businesses in one building. one building. >> yes. >> i could spend the next five years just doing shows on this one building. what is weird? what is strange? what do those things even mean, anyway? sure, a lot of what you've seen looks different from maybe the
mainstream. it's certainly different from the way we like to portray ourselves, see ourselves, at least our daytime selves. but roughly 50% of all movies rented in american hotel rooms are adult films. the american porn industry catering to exactly the kinds of dark urges we've been talking about, but even nastier is a $12 billion a year industry that dwarfs the hollywood product. our own obsessions arguably are at least as crazy, violent, and lurid as japan's. and we tend to actually carry out our violent fantasies more frequently. maybe with that fetishism, that attention to detail, comes some kind of excellence in other fields. maybe there's a line from there to here. so who's crazy now? ♪