Koichi Toyama

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Koichi Toyama

Koichi Toyama (外山 恒一 Toyama Kōichi?, born July 26, 1970) is a Japanese street musician and a fringe political activist who was a candidate for the governor of Tokyo in 2007. He was born in Kagoshima Prefecture and lives in Fukuoka. He gained notoriety with his provocative 2007 Tokyo gubernatorial election speech, which was posted on YouTube.[1] Out of fourteen candidates in the election, Toyama placed eighth with 15,059 votes (0.27 percent of total votes cast). Video footage of Koichi's 2007 speech was also used by British musician M.I.A. to open her Kala Tour concerts.[2]

Life[edit]

While his background was an intense revolt against the formal high-school education system,[3] he has been described as having a left-wing history, labelled a nihilist,[3] an anarchist.[4]

In 2001-2002 he served two prison sentences for defamation. According to some sources, he was until then a far-left activist but turned to a self-designed national anarchism, describing himself as a fascist.[citation needed][5]

Koichi has written several books[3] on his high school defamation, student activism and avantgarde music. Since 2007 he has educated political activists in Fukuoka in literature, history of philosophy and music. He has also run for the Kumamoto city assembly.[citation needed][5]

In 2006-2007 he was fined for traffic rule violations.[citation needed][5]

2007 candidacy[edit]

Described by the announcer as an "Extreme Left Anti-Establishment" figure, Koichi began his controversial statement by denouncing Japan as a "horrible nation" and rejecting any possibility for reforms. Declaring most of the voters to be his "enemies", Koichi calls upon a minority to rise up. He closes his speech by calling for the overthrow of the Japanese Government and making an obscene gesture toward the camera.[1]

Another Koichi video, from 2008, consists of a monologue in which he claims the United States has a global hegemony, and that it is an injustice that despite being a citizen of what he calls one of America's "51st states" ("America", he claims "literally encompasses the entire world"), he is not eligible to vote, let alone stand as a candidate, in the election.

Election Commission response[edit]

In 2007 the Tokyo election commission asked YouTube to remove election speeches of candidates, allegedly to "ensure fairness" among candidates, because YouTube had "allowed only certain candidates' speeches to be viewed freely on the site", according to an election official. According to Japanese election law, the broadcasting of speeches is only allowed on public broadcaster NHK.[6]

Works[edit]

  • 『ぼくの高校退学宣言—グッバイ・ハイスクール』 徳間書店 (Tokuma Shoten)、January 1989
  • 『ハイスクール「不良品」宣言—反管理教育中高生ネットワーク・DPクラブの顛末』駒草出版、June 1990
  • 『校門を閉めたのは教師か—神戸高塚高校校門圧殺事件』駒草出版、November 1990
  • 『注目すべき人物—1970年生まれの「同世代」批判』ジャパンマシニスト社、November 1992
  • 『さよならブルーハーツ—パンク日記』JICC出版局、April 1993
  • 『見えない銃—外山恒一、孤軍奮闘の軌跡/だいたい全記録 』出版研、December 1995
  • 『ヒット曲を聴いてみた—すると社会が見えてきた』駒草出版 、April 1998
  • 『最低ですかーっ!—外山恒一語録』不知火書房、December 2004 ISBN 978-4883450664
  • 『青いムーブメント―まったく新しい80年代史』彩流社、May 2008 ISBN 978-4779113369
  • 『ポスト学生運動史―法大黒ヘル編 1985~1994』 彩流社、January 2010 ISBN 978-4779114878

Magazines[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]