A Year in an Instant


Day 51

Instant photo for Day 51 of “A Year in an Instant” by Nuno Coelho Santos


I met Yuko for dinner at a french restaurant in Ginza. She had already finished a bottle of wine with her friend and told me about the umbrellas game in Tokyo.

In Tokyo the most common sight in a rainy day are the transparent umbrellas commonly sold at the コンビニ. These umbrellas cost around ¥500 and don’t break too easily. I have one at home and the one I brought with me tonight. The magic around these umbrellas is that they all look the same and everyone “borrows” each others umbrellas. I use the word “borrows” because someone will take your umbrella by mistake and in return you will take someone else’s. Sometimes you will be offered an umbrella from a friend, or the office will have a few spares, or you will purchase a new one to the game. The bottom line is: every umbrella will eventually belong to multiple people. And everyone is ok with how this system works.

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