Friday, January 9, 2009

How to # 14: Deal with losing your Wallet

Call me clumsy... but I've lost my wallet 3 times in Japan... It happens... you walk around a lot..things go in and out of your bag..it's bound to happen.

However, each time I lost it, it was not only returned but had ALL THE CASH! This would happen ONLY in Japan!

Mind you that I'd carry about 30,000yen at minimum ($300USD) You live in Japan long enough, you know...that you ALWAYS need to have cash!

In either case, this is possibly my favorite attribute to why Japanese people are so great! They are so considerate. In America, the best you could hope for...in the case of a lost wallet is...is your empty wallet with all your ID's and credit cards. Not in Japan..my experience has been phenomenal. If it was at school I got it in the lost and found. College students are poor...I would not have been surprised to find my money missing.

The other occasions I lost my wallet, I was called by the cops. They found like bank card which had my cellphone number on it.(talk about service!) They called to inform me where it was, and I was able to pick it up within a couple hours of loosing it. Luckily I had some change for the train...or it would have been yabai...(no good)


So in Japan here is the protocol for receiving all your money back! This is not mentioned in textbooks or anything of that sort. So yes...japanese people are considerate...but it is also assumed that you will be grateful...and thus be osewaninatta(in debted to).


Rule of thumb
is about 20-30% of the cash that was in the wallet. Wherever your wallet was returned to, they will often leave contact information...it is up to you to contact them and give them thank you money.

  1. Lose wallet
  2. Get wallet back with all the cash
  3. Give Thanks in the form of 20-30% of wallet content
you got it? and it doesn't hurt to ask a Japanese friend for help on this matter.

So pay it forward!

3 comments :

  1. madtokyo said...

    Good to see you back and blogging again! And your posts always provide useful information. Great stuff.

  2. kakijun said...

    I love your blog! It's so interesting!
    I'm really looking forward to these ones you have lined up:

    * What is Aizuchi and why do people look like boggleheads
    * How to get a Taxi (I didn't know there was any special trick to this.)
    * What is KY and why is it important

    And I don't know what this is about so I'm looking forward to it.
    * How to enjoy the wonders of seperate checks

  3. myuuzimiki said...

    My wallet was stolen from my room four weeks ago in a northern suburb of Tokyo (part of the 23 wards).

    I filed a lost property report just in case I was a klutz and misplaced it in my room, and then after searching all my belongings and still not finding it, I filed an incident report. I have a roommate and she is a 32-year-old Japanese woman who has yet to pay this month's rent and gets welfare money from the ward office. At the time of the theft (2:30-6:30pm when I was out of the house), she was the only person at home, one of the side sliding doors was open (but hidden by a wall as we live on the first floor), and the front door may have been unlocked. At first I didn't think that she could have taken it (even though I stupidly left it on my bed in plain sight) because she seems really nice, likes comedians and manga, and brought our housemates snacks from her travels. She only speaks Japanese and I only speak English. After a bilingual housemate told her my wallet was stolen, she said I should call the police. And then after realizing that she is the most likely suspect, she told us she did not take the wallet. But after discussing it with the other members of the house (in secret), they didn't think that anyone else could have come into the house while she was here and taken it. So now I am convinced that she took it but I don't know how to approach her about it and the language barrier will be a problem. I am planning to just translate what I say on Google and show her the computer screen. What should I say? When I approached her about the situation before she looked me straight in the eye and tells me that I should call the police.

    Nothing else was missing from my room and nothing else has gone missing since then. My side of the room is the first thing one sees from the doorway. If I get her name in kanji and her birthday I can get a background check done, but one of my housemates advised against that and is telling me to move on with my life as he thinks that I am just making myself depressed and I will never get the wallet back. What should I do?