Comic: I’ve been in Japan too long


comic comics colored Janine Antonio japan safe

Of course, crime still happens in Tokyo. Crime happens basically everywhere.

That being said, the “personal theft” crime in Tokyo is comparatively lower than anywhere else I’ve lived. I feel comfortable leaving my bag and laptop unattended at a cafe, while ordering another drink, going to the bathroom, or ducking outside to make a call.

I did this the other day and when I came back to my spot, I was just like “dang, I’ve been in Japan too long…”

BY THE WAY, this comic was colored by the wonderful Janine Antonio :)


Like these comics? Check out my comic books (on Amazon):

My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy: The Comic Book


My Japanese Husband (still) Thinks I’m Crazy


Confessions of a Texan in Tokyo


OB_15_24 comic comics life in japan texan in tokyo cartoon

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

16 Comments on Comic: I’ve been in Japan too long

  1. I think it is a great idea those comic pictures. I have been thinking about the same for some time and here it is this idea and working ;)

  2. Colored strip? Nice! :)

  3. Hope we can do that too here in my country. Even high-end coffee shops/restaurants are prone to theft. :(
    and BTW, colored strip looked really nice and cute! :D hope to see more colored comics soon from you and your color artist! :D

  4. That’s kinda unthinkable here in Brazil. Japan really seems like a totally different world haha

  5. Sometimes I think that in the US we expect more crime then there actually is and that we do not credit our fellow citizens enough with being honorable. At a busy mall the other day my wife noticed a very expensive diamond bracelet had slipped off her arm. The mall was crowded but we had to go looking. In front of one of the stores we had passed, on a bench and off there floor we saw the bracelet. A woman had picked it up off the floor and placed it on the bench so it would be easier to see and not get stepped on or kicked away. In the half an hour or so we were the only one of the hundreds who passed who picked it up from its “display.” Thanked the lady profusely. But until that day I would have NEVER expected that someone would not just have taken the bracelet. Sure, sooner or later someone probably would have, but sometimes we in US also seem to approach the Japanese ideal of being honorable.

  6. lakerzombie // 3 June, 2015 at 1:42 am //

    I love the fact that you can leave your things and not have to worry. It should be like that all over but it seems at least in Japan they make an effort to not take advantage of others. Good stuff :)

  7. Anonymous // 2 June, 2015 at 6:12 am //

    If you did that here (in South Africa ) when you came back your wallet and food would be gone lol , that being said I still forget my things quite often . . .

  8. Anonymous // 1 June, 2015 at 12:07 am //

    I would love not to feel so much fear but my grandma embedded in to my head all the time! haha

  9. On one hand, having been here much longer than you I wholeheartedly agree. Nowadays I don’t think twice about leaving my wallet, iPhone, iPad, MacBook, wedding ring, first born son, whatever I have, to mark my seat when I go somewhere even if it is for a few hours. Like you I never would have even considered doing something similar in the States.

    On the other hand, crime in the US is much lower than most of us think. If you look at the crime stats, crime is much lower than even the 1950s, which most of us think of as a golden time when no one had to lock their doors at night and everyone was friendly with each other. The last time I visited my folks in the States I left my iPhone on the table at a busy food court when I went to the toilet without really thinking about it (the been in Japan too long thing), but y’know what… when I came back it was still there.

    In general, crime in the US is much lower than we fear while crime in Japan is a bit higher than we think (much of it goes unreported as the local koban wants to make themselves look good to the higher-ups)

    • @JapanDave – I bet you were not in NYC (all 5 boroughs), otherwise your iPhone would’ve been gone.

      • Actually, not necessarily. I live in NYC and over the years I’ve left my purses, wallets (with considerable cash inside), smart phones, laptop and luggage unattended on a number of occasions – never on purpose, though – all over the city, including buses, bus terminals, subway stations, restaurants and stores. When I did go back for them, they were still there intact. Statistically speaking, the risk was probably high, which is why every time it happened I freaked out and ran to wherever I’d left my stuff. But after finding my own fears exaggerated, I am starting to think that NYC’s bad reputation might be somewhat undeserved. Some neighbourhoods might we worse than others, and so might be specific places at specific times. By no means would I recommend leaving one’s valuables unattended in NYC, but if it happens accidentally, all might not be lost, and I would recommend going back for the things instead of automatically deeming them irretrievable.

  10. I was still quite careful despite knowing nothing would happen, but the longer I had lived in Japan, the more careless I got. ^^;
    I think I always took my wallet, but I left my other belongings. Something I wouldn’t dare to do in Germany. ^^;

  11. Eric Janson // 31 May, 2015 at 5:05 pm //

    A friend of mine lost his wallet. The stranger who found it looked him up and brought it to his flat, all the money and crdit cards untouched. No place on earth like Japan!

  12. I left my bag unattented and went in another room at the children library today and thought the same thing

  13. Here, depending on where you go for a coffee, this is not advised :/ Let’s just say that at higher end cafes you can leave your belongings to keep the table if you’re alone… simply because the other customers would also have enough money without stealing your stuff.. and questionable people don’t go in.. also, i believe there is video surveillance

    but, on a brighter note: yay for being in japan for too long? lol

  14. Anonymous // 31 May, 2015 at 10:38 am //

    In Singapore, we use tissue packets to “chope” (Singlish word for “reserve”) seats. Hahaha.

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