Police Stick

Is this wooden object a stick or a pole? In any case, it is an essential element of Tokyo policing. I love seeing the local cop at the kabin standing guard with the wooden stick, or the more formal occasions in front of a government office.

The tool is at once simple and, most likely, ineffective against any real emergency. Yet its presence is somehow soothing to the police and the public.


  1. A huge percentage of Japan’s police force are quite adept at kendo and/or judo. A lengthy stick in his hands goes a long way toward making him a credible threat to bad guys, especially in a country where there aren’t a whole lot of handguns washing around the streets.

    1. Peter, you are probably right about the training. Still I find the very visible display of the stick at once analog and more than a bit moe. I am also highly entertained by JR and Tokyo Metro security standing on the tiny 30 centimeter stools. You can’t argue with the results: public safety in Tokyo is shocking compared to Europe and US.

  2. Those sticks are actually magic wands, which have power to transform bad guys into cats. That’s why Tokyo has a lot of stray cats.

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