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Matsuri mayhem: Yakuza nabbed over Sanja fight

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested an organized crime member over a fight at a festival in Taito Ward earlier this year that left one person seriously injured, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Nov. 30).

On May 20, Takao Tamaru, a 40-year-old member of the Sumiyoshi-kai, and two other persons struck a male acquaintance, 42, in the face during a dispute on a road outside a bar during the Sanja Matsuri, which is held in the Asakusa area.

The victim suffered a brain contusion that required 4 months to heal, according to police.

Tamaru, who has been accused of inflicting injury, did not wish to comment on the allegations upon his arrest. The other two suspects deny the allegations, police said.

Takao Tamaru
Takao Tamaru of the Sumiyoshi-kai (Twitter)

During the festival, the three suspects participated in parading through the streets of Asakusa with a mikoshi, or portable shrine. Thereafter, a dispute erupted inside the bar. During the incident, Tamaru, a former member of now defunct bosozoku group Kanto Rengo, came to the assistance of one of the other suspects.

Police had already arrested several other gangsters over a brawl that broke out at the festival the day before.