Happy Street Fish!
As mentioned in this previous post, respect for others’ property in Japan is a given; vandalism is extremely rare – in almost 6 years living in Tokyo I cannot recall seeing a single example – and alongside this is an overwhelming trust and sense of security. Hence people’s possessions are often left outside their homes or in the street with absolute certainty they will be left alone by passersby.
I described a few examples in this post, and last weekend I happened upon a typical situation.
On one of the main paths leading to the station entrance sits a fish tank, goldfish happily swimming in full view of pedestrians, cyclists and delivery people.
Without doubt such a tank left on a street in London would last no more than a day or two before
- a) being smashed by a vandal “having a laugh”
- b) transforming into a rubbish bin, filled with empty drink cans, sweet and crisp wrappers or cigarette butts
- or c) attract local kids trying to catch or otherwise traumatise the fish
Sad but true.
Ahhh, it’s difficult to stay here any length of time without becoming seduced by the inherent respect within Japanese culture and fall into despair at one’s own.