I believe most of you regard Japanese as people of high moral values compared to people of other countries. I believed in this too throughout my 6 years in Japan. Japanese are polite to everyone and the security level here is high. Besides that, they don’t meddle into their neighbours’ affair although they love to make complaints.

I believe in all these until last April because I started feeling insecure. Why do I feel insecure? Here is the story.

I had a new neighbour moving into next door in early March. I met him on my way home one evening. He had just parked his bicycle beside the road and rushed into his house to take something. He greeted me politely and gave me Japanese snacks which is part of the Japanese culture when moving in to a new neighbourhood. I did not regard him as a weird guy as he wore his suit neatly and was delighted that someone had moved in as my apartment was always empty.

Half a month passed and one day, he knocked onto my door.
He introduced himself again and asked a series of questions.

“Do you feel uncomfortable these days?”
“No.”
“Are you experiencing headache and heartaches these days?”
”No.”
“Do you hear weird noises?”
“No.”
“Okay, never mind then.”

When I wanted to close the door, he said, “Please be quiet at midnight.”
I was appalled because I didn’t make any noise but apologized nevertheless.
I was a little confused, thinking if I really made any noise to the extent of disturbing him.
Since then, I tried my best making my room silent, turning down the PC volume, avoid flushing toilet, etc.
There wasn’t any complaint for 2 weeks until one day, my apartment agent rang to me.
She asked, “Do you hear weird noises these days?”
I said, “No but my neighbour next door asked the same question last fortnight.”
She replied, “ It’s okay, I just wanted to confirm.”I was like “What the hell!”, I have already restrained from making loud noises, yet you still complaint about me! However, as I was busy with my job-hunting, I had no time to settle or contemplate about it.

~A month after he moved in~

One night, I slept early because I had to wake up early for MSAJ Career Fair on the next day. After just turning my room light off, I started hearing loud sound similar to sound from the woofer of a car. At first, I thought this noise was from someone’s car outside my apartment or my neighbour behind my apartment.

I opened the window and front door to check but found nothing and started suspecting my neighbour next door being the culprit. I was thinking, “You are the one who complained about me making noise yet you are the one who is making noise this time. What’s wrong with him?”

I started thinking that he is a little weird, complaining about me making noise but now he is the one making noise. Nonetheless, I ignored him as I was busy and don’t think I could’ve done anything.

I woke up at around 5a.m. the next day. When I was ready to go out, I saw a paper stuck in my postbox. At first, I was blur, thinking it was just a promotion flyer and was foolish enough to check my next door’s postbox if he has received the same letter but he didn’t.

I was terrified and suspected that my neighbour next door was the one giving me the harassment letter based on the letter contents. I was at lost on what to do but as there was an MSAJ event on that day, I attended that event while thinking on my next step. I called my apartment agent telling them I got harassed by my neighbour. They did not believe me until I sent them my harassment letter. They asked me to report this to the police directly as they are unable to do anything since there is no evidence proving that he was the writer of this letter.

The letter contents goes like this:

“As expected of a particular Asian lolololol
Low moral values and cultural standard lololololololol
Taking advantage just because your opponent is a Japanese? lolol
Seems like our first meeting when you moved in was a recon instead of coincidence lololol
I tell you first. This time I have recorded the noise level, you want me to release the noise level measurement???????
Or else, why did you think I’ve been keeping silent enduring the noise for the last few days? lolololololol
If you have weapons, I have protector too, idiot!

If you want, I can make this into a criminal case.
Leaving you with criminal record which will affect your career, you want?
Huh!!????
GET LOST WITHIN 10 DAYS!!”

Reporting to police was of no avail because there wasn’t any name written on the letter. The police too believe that this guy is a little weird or else, he wouldn’t write this kind of letter.

The police suggested me to not go back home anymore and move out as this is the only means of keeping myself safe.

I was like “WHAT! He’s the crazy one and yet, I’m the one who need to move out.” but for my own safety, I took his advice. I was homeless for a month but fortunately, my juniors welcomed my to stay at their house.

Luckily, everything settled out smoothly. After I moved out, I heard from my agent saying that my next door had already moved out a week before I cancelled my house contract. She also tried asking him if he’s still hearing those noises recently and he answered, “Yes”. My agent finally believed that he has mental disorder and nothing is wrong with me and apologized to me for choosing the wrong tenant living beside me.

This is my first time facing such trouble. When I told this story to my Japanese friends, they told me that this guy should be an “OTAKU”. Otaku is a Japanese word, describing a person who has obsessive interests, stays at home all the time and is severed of social life. Japanese are accustomed to this word as there are many Japanese who are OTAKUs.

Although Japan is an advanced country, the life here is too stressful to the extend of its people suffering from mental disorder. Therefore, be careful where ever you are as this is the only way to keep yourself out of harm’s way.

Believe me, Japan is much safer than other countries but pickpocketing, molesting and robbing happens often too nowadays. Also, don’t judge a book by its cover. Remember, SAFETY FIRST before you consider about others.

Credits to: Lau Bik Eedocument.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);