TOPMystery Benefactor Provokes Mixed Reception in Tokyo Suburbs

Mystery Benefactor Provokes Mixed Reception in Tokyo Suburbs

By Alec Jordan

Dozens of people in Japan were surprised to find mysterious envelopes containing large sums of cash and gift vouchers in their mailboxes last week, leaving authorities baffled on who might be behind the Robin Hood-esque deed.

The anonymous person (or people) apparently left a total of 760,000 yen ($7,437) in the letterboxes of exactly 30 households in an apartment complex in Ikoma city, southwest of Tokyo.

Some people found coins wrapped in flyers among their parcels, while other residents received gift vouchers. The largest amount found in a single mailbox was 137,000 yen ($1,339).

Just 10 days earlier, unmarked envelopes containing gift certificates—ranging from 5,000 yen ($48) to tens of thousands of yen—were deposited at an additional 30 homes in Kawasaki City, just south of Tokyo.

Ikoma police say more than half of the recipients refused to accept the unexplained cash, with some saying the gesture was “creepy.”

Authorities are checking CCTV footage and the voucher serial numbers in an effort to find out where they came from. The money will be considered as lost and could be claimed anytime by the person responsible for the beneficence, authorities said, although they have yet to determine whether it was stolen.

By Maesie Bertumen

Image: “Blogging in Japan” by Guillermo Ruiz/Flickr