The Tokyo gubernatorial election results are in, and it is no big surprise that incumbent Ishihara was re-elected in a landslide. But the online buzz surrounding "fringe" candidate Kouichi Toyama's unsuccessful campaign has yet to dissipate.
The street musician, who recently served two years in prison for sedition, made a controversial campaign speech that was televised nationwide on NHK prior to the election. Copies were then posted to video sharing sites like YouTube, where they became popular.
The Tokyo election management committee contacted YouTube several days before the election, demanding the videos be removed to "ensure fairness in the election process." But the committee's demands apparently went unheeded, as countless versions of the video remain on the site.
(Check here for other Toyama videos on YouTube, including parodies, cutups, and remixes w/ soundtracks.)
While Toyama only tallied about 15,000 votes out of the roughly 5.5 million votes cast citywide, he and a few hundred supporters still saw reason to gather at Koenji station for an election night celebration. Toyama arrived at the festivities on his scooter carrying a television, which he and his supporters later watched for coverage of the election results.
Other notable eccentrics in the gubernatorial race included Dr. Nakamats (the wacky, prolific inventor whose list of 3,000 creations includes the floppy disk), Kisho Kurokawa (the well-known Metabolist architect), Kinzo Sakura (a comedian) and Kumiko Uchikawa (a feng shui expert).