Please Don't Take This 1000 Yen
2013, intervention in the neighbourhood of Konohana, Osaka Japan.
Upon arriving in Osaka, I observed hundreds of bicycles that had either flimsy locks, or no locks at all to secure them. I surmised there was some sort of honor system in play, and decided to test it a little. The results were surprising to me.
Four signs were placed around the neighbourhood early one morning, asking residents to please not take the 1000 Yen bill attached to it.
Two of the signs remained untouched until I retrieved them late that night. One sign disappeared mid-afternoon, although it probably had something to do with it being posted on the city's bulletin board without permission. The fourth sign disappeared late in the day, which still impressed me. It turns out it was taken by a random, concerned neighbour who wanted to safeguard it. She did some sleuthing, somehow correctly guessed the restaurant I would be visiting later that night, and returned it (along with the 1000 Yen of course) a few hours before I arrived.
Grateful acknowledgements: Daisuke Takeya, the Canada Council for the Arts