Japan is known for having one of the lowest crime rates in the world, making it a safe and comfortable place not only for its citizens, but for foreign tourists as well.
But there are still minor cases of theft that bug the local residents, especially when the rainy season comes showering by. Instead of expensive items such as wallets and cars, what’s getting taken are things such as umbrellas, which are inexpensive but highly valuable when it is raining cats and dogs. To fight such petty crime, the citizens of Japan have come up with their own unique ways of fending off such petty thieves. Check them out after the break!
In Japan, even if you’ve dropped your wallet on the street, or absent-mindedly left your bag or travel documents at a restaurant or in a taxi, there’s a rather high chance that you’ll get your belongings back. And in comparison to many other countries, travellers have less to worry when it comes to pickpockets, even in densely packed peak hour trains. We’re not saying that your wallet is safe from stealing hands in Japan, but there’s probably a higher chance of losing your umbrella outside a convenience store on a pouring day.
People leave their umbrellas in the umbrella stand by the entrance of the store before they head in to run their errands, and when lady luck isn’t quite looking out for them, they might exit the store to find that their umbrella has been taken by some inconsiderate fellow. Unlike cars, umbrellas don’t have built-in anti-theft systems, so some creative netizens devised their very own preventive measures!
▼ Apparently, simply labeling your umbrella with the word “curse” lowers the risk of umbrella theft.
リトマネン・スケベッチ・オナゴスキー (@ero_litmanen) June 21, 2013
▼ Advanced cursing involves this “grudge curse curse curse death” writing.
崖っぷちヒデタカ (@takasyu12) April 02, 2014
▼ Adding a face to it makes it creepier.
やしろあずき@1日目東M46-b (@yashi09) October 21, 2014
▼ Take note though, kanji characters can be slightly confusing. This one says “celebration” instead.
まつり@出産したぜ！ (@_matsuri_) June 26, 2013
▼ Labeling it “XXX Police Station” might work too.
Masato Onuki (@masato_onuki) July 18, 2013
▼ Writing “You female pig!” on the umbrella definitely makes it seem undesirable to petty thieves, but it’ll probably get you a few stares whenever you use it.
なみきさん (@sukako_bot) June 26, 2013
▼ This artistic individual drew spooky illustrations to spook away the umbrella thieves.
盗難防止の傘の落書き。 三枚目のこれじゃない感。 これでもう二度と盗まれない！！こんな趣味の悪い傘誰も盗まないよね！！ http://t.co/Mpz5ipSXgN—
孔雀草 (@think0preacher0) June 22, 2014
Apart from umbrellas, another item that often gets snagged is bicycles, or bicycle parts. Umbrellas aren’t costly, but having your bicycle stolen is both a pain in the neck and a bullet shot into the wallet.
When locks and chains cease to work against the local bicycle thieves, something more is needed.
▼ Decorating your bike with decals makes it easily recognizable in case it gets stolen.
ステッカー追加しました！ これでパクられてもすぐ見つかります〜 効果抜群の盗難対策です(^-^) http://t.co/cCAXMrupXL—
愛知のキスケ@Bトレ (@kisukejr211) May 05, 2015
▼ Make your point with stencils and spray paint.
natukusa.com (@natukusa_com) May 11, 2015
▼ If one lock and one chain isn’t effective enough, chain-lock all your family bikes together!
互いに鍵で止めてあった。うん、盗難対策の為にいいの、かな？ いいのか？ いいのかよ、オイ！ http://t.co/PNowIkGhaZ—
榊燈弥 (@Sakaki_Touya) March 30, 2013
▼ Creative thinking suggests that even bicycle thieves won’t want to take a bike that has “saddle” written on its saddle. We have our doubts.
夕凪bot (@yuunagibot) May 08, 2015
▼ Or you could go with a more straightforward approach of just taking your saddle with you whenever you park.
竹川大地 (@aojiru3mai) April 03, 2015
▼ Tying string across the basket prevents people from using it as a trash can, and scattering thumbtacks across the saddle prevents theft… unless the thief has an iron butt.
二度と自転車にゴミ捨てられないようにカゴにセイントフィールド張った あと盗まれないようにアイアンスパイクを装備した。 そして気づいた、俺も乗れない #いたずら･盗難対策 http://t.co/WOpLXu4HTc—
ポムポムプソソ(･~･`) (@_x_jack_x_) May 14, 2015
These simple and cost-friendly anti-theft methods may seem slightly silly, but according to some owners, they apparently did fend off the thieving. What do you think of these methods? If you have any other bright ideas, share your tips in the comments section below!