The officer escorted about 8 of us into the Koban (small police station). Upon entry, we all became incredibly retarded. We ALL pretended to know absolutely no Japanese, even the most fluent of us. It was hysterical. In these situations, it's best to play the ignorant foreigner, trust me. This afforded us a couple advantages. First, the police might grow tired of the language barrier and let us go (this is how I escaped giving a donation to my cable company). Second, we make them think we don't speak any Japanese, then listen to all the crap they say about us. Third, we appear ignorant, not malicious.
One of the officers whipped out his fancy translator and I became the impromptu leader of our band. He would show me the translator and I would pass the message on to everyone else. One hilarious example:
Me: Hey guys, I think he's telling us we have no manners.
Police Officer: Hanabi, Hanabi!
Me: Ooooooh, um...fireworks are ill-mannered.
This went on for about 15 minutes. They collected our Gaijin cards, made copies, and took our phone numbers. Luckily, our prefectural adviser was with us. Prefectural Advisers are the first call a troubled JET makes. My conversation with her went like this:
(after handing the police my gaijin card)
Me: Hey Banshee, what do we do?
Banshee: BOW DEEPLY.
About 15 minutes after that, another officer walked in. The first officer totally called us Foreigners when describing the situation to him. Keep in mind, they know we are English teachers in Nara because it's written on our identification. Yet, we are still just "foreigners." Racists.
After getting debriefed on the situation from his fellow officer, the new guy laughed and said to us, "Fireworks are not illegal, but they are not permitted. blah blah blah blah..." We all bowed more times then I care to remember, left the koban, and went to the bar to have a laugh.
No JET experience is complete without a trip to the Koban.