If You Drop Your Wallet In Japan, What Are the Chances You’ll Get It Back?

  • SOCIETY
  • CULTURE
  • Even if you have never been to Japan, you have probably heard about what a safe place it is. The rate of crime is fairly low which is great for visitors and residents alike. Many people worry about losing their belongings on a daily basis, let alone when traveling. So, if you are in Japan and you lose something important like your wallet, will you ever see it again?

    A Social Experiment

    The YouTube channel “Monkey Python” conducted an experiment to see if people in Japan really are honest enough to return something! The host of the experiment, Zenim, a young man from Japan himself, walks around Harajuku, dropping his wallet. The Tokyo neighborhood can be a crowded place and is often filled with younger crowds.

    experiment zenim wallet

    Zenim and crew try to find out how many times the wallet will be returned and how many times someone will take it for themselves.

    How Does It Go?

    experiment intro card

    Zenim starts off casually walking down the street (with the camera a reasonable distance away). In order not to be too obvious about purposefully dropping his wallet, he reaches into his front pocket, pushing the wallet out of his back pocket.

    experiment first

    As soon as the wallet drops, a passerby notices.

    experiment first return

    He immediately picks up the wallet and chases after Zenim in order to return it to him.

    experiment second

    Next, a couple walking by also immediately notices the dropped wallet…

    experiment second return

    …and urgently hands it back!

    Zenim then has a few varying reactions. Most of the people he passes are walking alone as well, and go after him to return the wallet.

    experiment fourth

    One woman notices the wallet, and she doesn’t run after Zenim or pick up, but she still calls out to him, pointing out that he dropped it!

    experiment sixth

    Another lady, who is walking with her dog also notices the wallet and gives it back at once.

    Things seem to be going extremely well for Zenim in this experiment. After 6 returns of the wallet, the video jumps ahead to the wallet having been returned 11 times! After one more quick return from a person walking alone…

    experiment thirteenth

    When the wallet is dropped again, even this couple’s dog spots it.

    experiment thirteenth return

    And the wallet is once again safely returned!

    So what is the result? Will anyone in Harajuku take the wallet for themselves?

    Experiment result

    Nope! Fifteen out of fifteen people returned the wallet to Zenim right away.

    experiment 100

    A complete success!

    Safety and Honesty

    We all still want to remain cautious with our wallets, phones, keys and other important items, but the experiment seems to prove Japan is a safe and honest country! Have you ever lost something in Japan and gotten it back? What do you think the results would be like in your country?

    Related Articles:
    Why Japan is a Traveler’s Safe Haven
    Safety tips for travellers in Japan