One regular after the other came into the ramen shop tonight. Takashi was celebrating the 10-year anniversary of his restaurant this evening, so he was thrilled to see so many familiar faces on this special occasion.
But when a rather unusual customer came through the door, Takashi was stunned. It was none other than Yakuza boss Masaru Suzuki!
Suzuki was one of the most powerful men in Japan, and he certainly wasn’t someone that Takashi ever expected to see in his humble little ramen shop. But there he was, sitting at the counter and ordering a bowl of noodles just like everyone else.
Takashi couldn’t help but stare at Suzuki as he ate. He had always heard stories about the man’s ruthless business methods, but seeing him here like this made him seem almost human.
“Would you like to have some saké on the house, sir?” Takashi asked respectfully.
“Thank you, I would love some,” Suzuki replied with a smile.
Takashi poured him a cup and then raised his own in a toast. “To your continued success, Mr. Suzuki.”
Suzuki clinked his cup against Takashi’s and then took a sip. “I must say, your ramen is even better than I remembered.”
“I’m glad you like it,” Takashi said, beaming with pride.
“It’s no wonder this place is always so crowded,” Suzuki said. “You really have something special here.”
Eventually, Suzuki finished his meal and got up from his seat, facing the other customers in the restaurant.
“Ladies and gentlemen, respect where respect is due. Let’s give praise to Mr. Takashi for serving our community with delicious food for over ten years!”
The other customers applauded and Takashi bowed his head in appreciation. To conclude his celebratory speech, Suzuki took an AK-47 from behind his back and starting firing rounds in the restaurant’s ceiling. Two henchmen chanted in a Japanese dialect. The sound was deafening.
A few customers ducked under the table. Others stared in awe.
Before Takashi could even process what was happening, Suzuki and his henchmen were gone, leaving Takashi and the other customers shaken but unharmed.
This incident became legendary in Takashi’s ramen shop. Customers would often ask him about it, and he would tell them that Masaru Suzuki was just like any other customer – except for the fact that he carried an AK-47 with him.