• SHARE

MAKUHARI, Chiba Pref. — We plowed our way into the mass of humanity packing the Makuhari Messe event hall moments after the cheers rose to ring in the new year.

Bright flashes of light illuminated falling silver confetti as 2002 yielded to 2003. Thousands of crazed revelers were jumping, pushing, screaming, and then pushing and screaming some more. The air was thick with the smoky reek of incense and Ecstacy cigarettes. Every step brought the unsettling sound and feeling of empty PET bottles crackling under my feet.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)