Extreme fetish performance troupe Gokiburi Combinato makes sure Tokyo hears its victims scream.
Downtown Ginza. A place filled to the brim with designer brands, boutique shopping and well-dressed dogs wearing Prada sunglasses. Not a place usually associated with death, debauchery and sadism.
I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff since I came to Tokyo. I’ve partied in an abandoned hospital. Hung out with sex-crazed zombies on a Sunday afternoon. And watched half-naked girls fight robots in the city’s red light district.
Nothing could prepare me though for the utterly bizarre experience I had this weekend at the hands of Gokiburi Combinato – a select group of fetish art performers who are a regular feature of the Sadistic Circus events in Tokyo.
Vanilla Gallery is in on the 4th floor of a nondescript building in Ginza, the upmarket shopping district of the city. I convinced my friend Cate to come with me, so off we went not really knowing what to expect. I had heard it was a ‘haunted house for adults’ and a one-off event so thought it’d be fun. When we arrived at the building we had to queue one by one on a dimly lit stairway. Behind the door of the gallery we could hear blood-curdling screams and lots of banging. No one knew what was going on in there. We were told we had to go into the room one at a time, and that we would get dirty. It was hot and a delay meant we had to wait for 30 minutes. I’m not sure if this was intentional but everyone started to get very nervous. The screams continued and by this stage my friend had decided she wasn’t even going to go in.
The girl that went in before me came out shaking and unable to speak. Then it was my turn. The door of the gallery creaked open and I was ushered in on my hands and knees through a curtain. I crawled through a dark narrow corridor, pitch black, couldn’t see a thing. I was then suddenly grabbed by a woman holding what looked like dead baby pleading with me to help her. I turned around to see a miner covered in blood with a huge pickaxe screaming at me. I scrambled up a wooden platform only for 4 zombies to grab me down into a pool of water and scream in my face. The place started to collapse around me and I climbed up to the top only to have to cross a beam to the other side. There I was greeted by a fully naked woman and a deranged man holding a live goat.
The look on my face as I exited the room says it all.
(NB. No cameras were allowed, but you wouldn’t have had a chance to take any pictures anyway. You are too busy freaking out and wondering what the hell is going on. To get an idea of the circle these guys move in, check out the video below. This event is in September and I will be there.)