Tokyo at night

Mitsu Hamada. The name runs through my tongue like a lemon with hot sauce. Mitsu was a trained military-grade archer, most known for his work in Japan. A hitman you could say he was, as he almost took down the entire Japanese mafia singlehandedly with a bow and a load of technologically advanced arrows. A genius if you will. He should be considered a hero, though that’s not what I think one bit. Not one bit. You see,  Mitsu slaughtered my family, and his status as a “hero” has put a giant cloak that blocks the horrible things that he has done from the public eye. Mitsu is a villain, and I’ve vowed my life to stop him. 

I wake up to the loud honks of Mitsubishi’s and Hondas in the streets. The blaring noise of honking was a common thing for someone who lives in the heart of Tokyo. Busy streets also mean a lot of advertising. Having blinds that cover the window facing out into the street was a necessity, as the lights are so bright you could probably get your daily Vitamin D fill at night. I take a whiff of a shirt lying on the floor of my tiny apartment that I wore yesterday, and put it on. I’ve felt a bit of loneliness lately. Ever since the loss of the important people in life, I have no motivation for what seems like anything anymore. I am like a walking air breather. I work, sleep, and repeat the same thing over and over. The one thing that I can focus on is Mitsu. I need to find out as much information about him so I can frame him for good. The obvious question in mind is why was my wife and son slaughtered? The connections between the two make no sense. My wife worked as a cook at a local restaurant, everyone loved her. I loved her. My son was going to primary school in Shibuya. A child prodigy. He could read and write both in Japanese and English fluently while only 7 years old. My wife and I told each other everything too, from what we ate for breakfast to what we were going to spend our afternoon doing. Secrets were something we shared, not kept, no matter what it was. That is why it is unreal that something as awful as what happened, happened. It’s been about 2 months since the incident happened, and I still can’t seem to put the two pieces together. 

Riding up the elevator to the 77th floor of a Japanese high rise, the news was on the tiny TV sitting above the floor numbers. In Japanese it wrote, “5 SAVED IN FIRE, HAMADA DOES IT AGAIN”. I look away in disgust. There must have been a reason why he somehow is always in the right place at the right time.  Ever since he saved 2 children from a simple grocery store robbery last year in October, he has gotten public attention and enormous amounts of wealth. For some weird reason too, none of the people who did these crimes have been caught. It’s like he’s chasing a ghost’s messes and constantly cleaning them up.  He has a status as a local “superhero” in the likes of the fictional superhero “Hawkeye” or “Green Arrow”. Then it clicked. There’s no possible way that Mitsu is in the area every time something drastic happens around Japan. It’s not a common occurrence for terroristic attacks or evil things to happen around here, so he must be behind it somehow. I need to prove this. I exit the elevator and walk over to my desk. I worked as a senior programming manager for the hardware in Mitsubishi cars. I used a computer often, and pretty much knew what was going on around the city all the time. I took this opportunity in my small amount of free time before heaps of meetings to compile a list of things Mitsu has done in the city. He’s had about 7 “saves” since his first heroic act with the 2 kids in a store. They all are fire-related. They also have to do with schoolchildren for some reason. This information is perfect. Finally, I have a step in getting him busted. After my hours of meetings with different workers, it’s finally time to go home. I stop by the cemetery before I return home, kneeling down praying. I had adopted a lot of Japanese cultures ever since I moved here 3 years ago from New York, and this form of praying and respect was something I just caught on to. Finally, after grabbing some street takoyaki to fuel my brain and my stomach, I got home and went straight to my computer. Mitsu was going to be at a local high school, speaking out in his costume about whatever wisdom and inspiration BS that he wants to spin into the minds of the students. Something is going to happen there I can feel it. It was tomorrow, around lunchtime. After I call into my work for my absence, I rest up and prepare for tomorrow. 

I grab my phone, and dress up fit but still casual. Can’t have a rugged man in a high school, that looks suspicious as can be. Plus I’m not going for anything malicious, my objective here is to find Mitsu, and find whatever perpetrators that there may be in the area. These could be anyone, so any person who isn’t in a school uniform could be a threat. I arrive at the school, and the assembly is outside in a large courtyard. There’s a large audience of children of all ages, the whole school must have been there, and a stage, with a big poster with the words “Mitsu Hamada, HERO!” and a microphone. As the assembly begins, I walk around to the left side of the audience, trying to find Mitsu. “Hello sir, who are you?” Whispers a man behind me. A chill goes down my spine, anger fills my face, and my hands fist up into balls of steel. It must be Mitsu behind me. I turn around and to my dismay, it was just a local teacher. “Oh I’m just here to pick up my son he’s leaving early home.” 

“Oh alright, do you know where he is and what class?”
“Yes of course I talked to his teacher to grab him.”

“Alright, thank you. Also, avoid going in that back area, it is private for Mitsu and his crew to use.”

“Of course sir. Thank you.”

Private manners? What private manners would you need for an assembly like this? You’re just speaking to a bunch of kids about being a hero and having good Japanese manners so what’s the deal with that? Skeptical, I walk over and peep into the tent they’re in. There he was. My breathing starts to become uneven, wanting to tackle him and put every ounce of rage into his face at once. I can’t though, it would ruin my entire plan. I have to find out what he could be doing here and protect the kids from a “harm then save” act. Two bodyguards approach me from behind, guns in their belts. What could they need guns for? “Sir you aren’t permitted to be back here” Says one of the men. They’re giant dudes, no way I could oppose them in any way. I comply and walk back out into the sidewalk leading to the courtyard. There must be a bomb of some sort. I have to tell everyone. I need to save them. I sprint over to the right side of the stage, pushing away teachers and others away. My status didn’t matter anymore, after I saved them they would be grateful for me. They would finally see what Mitsu really was, and be grateful for my assistance. As I climb up to the stage, Mitsu is walking from the left side of the stage up the stairs, approaching the microphone. I grab it, and yell to the audience of students, teachers, and parents, “EVERYONE ATTENTION, Mitsu Hamada is evil! He has created bombs to occur at events so he can save people from these fake criminals! He must be sto-” 

I woke up in a hospital. The excruciating pain from my head disabled me from doing anything but think, and be trapped in my own thoughts. I don’t know what happened, all of the adrenaline I had running on to that stage and letting all of this information out sort of blinded me from what could have happened next. Did a bomb blow me up? No, I only had bruises and head trauma. Someone must have tackled me off the stage. It must have been Mitsu. I try to get up and get my anger back at Mitsu but I didn’t know where he was, and on top of that, my legs felt as if I just ran a marathon. As I lie there for another few minutes someone walks into the room. They have black hair, parted to the side like a businessman, and a beard to go with it. They looked Japanese, but not entirely, sort of resembled me in a way. Is my brain really that hurt that I can see myself? No, this person is real. The man approaches me, and leans down to my lying body. “Kevin. Are you awake?” How does he know me? “Kevin I apologize for the extremities that I had to do on that stage, you were really going crazy. Are you okay?” Of course I’m not okay, I’m laying in a hospital bed with 20% of my normal human function. As I lie there looking at him, I finally recognized him. It was him

“You, you did everything. All the things that have happened, it was all you.” 

“What are you saying?”

“The fires, the explosions, my wife, everything. It was you. Just so you could get your fame as a so-called hero. How could you do such a thing? If you didn’t bring your mafia business into my family they would still be alive! ”

I begin to spiral into a fit of rage. There’s no way I can be laying here like this. Not after everything he has done. He gives me a disappointing look, places some flowers on the counter, and walks to the door. Before he leaves, he turns back to me.

“I’m sorry brother, about everything that has happened. There are things in this life that we cannot change. The man you’ve been seeking, to avenge your pain is not me. I have been searching for him ever since your wife died. Please get well, it is not right to see you like this.” Mitsu leaves, and I lie there, defeated. Impossible. It had to have been him. I continue to lie there wondering, after all these years, could he still care about me?

October 30th, 2023

Two people were killed in a Tokyo apartment last night. The victims, mother Hina Hamada and son Tanjiro Hamada passed away in this incident. Reports show that the victim’s husband/father Kevin Hamada and his brother Mitsu Hamada were on the scene as well, fending off the perpetrators. Kevin Hamada sustained a few head injuries, while Mitsu Hamada was left with minor injuries. There are few leads, the only ones being there was a man in a hood that attacked the family whilst having a family gathering. If you find reports of potential information regarding this incident, please contact 432-562-2284.

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February 28, 2022 6:10 am

Dear Jason,

I am impressed by your post, “Tokyo fire” because it discusses an interesting story about Mitsu who was a hitman. I think it’s impressive how Mitsu was being looked for although people believed him to be a hero.

One sentence that stands out for me is, ” Mitsu slaughtered my family, and his status as a “hero” has put a giant cloak that blocks the horrible things that he has done from the public eye”. I think this is impressive because this shows how you can see the perspective of someone who believes that Mitsu is not a hero rather than someone who thinks he is a hero

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because I like the way you use your words to develop your story.


February 13, 2022 5:30 pm

Dear Jason,

I absolutely loved your story. I liked how you brought up Mitsu Hamada as this hometown hero, but then you gave us a huge U-turn by saying how he slaughtered your family. That got me hooked it was so well written I really like how went in-depth with your story and tried to make us feel as immersed as possible. I really felt immersed. Your storytelling is amazing and I like how you really went to the fullest to make us feel for the protagonist and how you made your characters so complex. I like that Kevin moved to Tokyo from New York. Finally, your story progressed through a lot in a short period of time, but it didn’t feel rushed, and overall was a great read.

January 21, 2022 9:21 pm

I am interested in understanding the dichotomy between the author and the story itself. The storyline captures so many different layers and does so through the use of extensive figurative language and tactics. I like how we get a deep dive into the characters thought processes and innate beliefs.

January 21, 2022 9:16 pm


I loved your story. First, the introduction was very-crafted -> you drew me in with metaphors and a cliffhanger that continued all the way through the story. I also loved how you added small details into the plot to describe the characters, like that Kevin moved to Tokyo from New York. Finally, your story progressed through a lot in a short period of time, but it didn’t feel rushed at all. Overall, I thought it was awesome! Thanks for writing!

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