Sunday, January 03, 2010

Product flying off the shelves

Happy New Year!

Looks like someone is going to be getting a nice, belated Christmas gift.

Tenshodo, an upscale and storied jewelry shop in Ginza, was relieved of more than three million dollars worth of luxury watches during the New Year's break. Thieves drilled a hole in the concrete wall of the building, went down into the basement of the building, and absconded with some 200 timepieces.

Elsewhere, this time at the Shinjuku branch of Tiffany's, an English-speaking Asian man rushed out of the store with four engagement rings in his possession. He was not immediately apprehended.

It seems looks like some people have created their own version of "lucky bag" in the midst of the economic downturn. With nearly one-third of Japan's largest companies considering cutbacks in hiring, it is perhaps not very surprising that petty theft is on the rise.

Meanwhile, Joshua "Jake" Adelstein, a former crime beat reporter in Japan and author of the briskly selling Tokyo Vice, sat down for a very intriguing interview with the Japan Times in which he explained some of his views on what makes the underbelly of Japan (as well as the rest of the country, for that matter) tick. Japanese publishers reportedly won't go near the book at this point, so an English version is the only option for interested parties.

And concurrently, in Kobe, one of the subjects of Adelstein's book, the Yamaguchi-gumi of Japan's inimitable yakuza, went into overdrive in an attempt to appease the local population by handing out cash to children at the annual mochi-making (rice cake) event that takes place at the end of December.

Local police believe that more than 1,000 people attended the event last week during which some lucky children made off with as much as three hundred dollars.

'Tis the season!

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