No Purses or Bags on the Floor!
In Japan, as in other Asian countries, there is a superstition about putting purses and other bags directly on the floor. A Cambodian friend of mine once told me that if a purse was on the floor, all the money would fall out of it – and she meant it in a figurative sense of losing all of one’s money. Because of this, many restaurants, particularly those in shopping areas, have bag holders next to each seat at the table. Sometimes there’s one holder for the entire table, but most often, it’s individual. It’s very convenient. You never have sling your purse over the back of your chair and worry that it’s going to fall off and you don’t have to set it down between your feet. Some restaurants, if they don’t have such bag holders, will actually put an extra chair at the table for all of the bags. This is particularly true if it is a group of ladies dining together. I once went for tea at a very fancy hotel with three other women after a short shopping expedition, and the waiter brought a fifth chair to the table to hold our bags. It’s one of my favorite security items in Tokyo. I know that I don’t have to really worry about my bag being stolen off the back of my chair like I would in other places, but the security feels nice, and my bag stays cleaner because it’s not on the dirty floor. Yet another perk of living in Japan.