Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Knife Carrying in Japan: An Insider's Tips

tape measure, metric, inches,pocket knife, kitchen knife, board

Japan Has Strict Laws



Over the past week the subject of knives in Japan has come up in a few conversations.

And, I had sort of, put the thought of writing this blog on the back burner.

This morning's news of the horrors in Sagamihara, Japan got me thinking.

A deranged person, killed 19 and severely wounded dozens of others, using a knife as a weapon.

 Now, is the time to make sure foreigners, in Japan understand the laws concerning knives.

Don't expect the laws, concerning knives, in Japan to become any more lax after this disaster.

Swords and Firearms Control Law

Guns and swords, I won't discuss here.  If you're interested, you can read the links.

The latest revision (English) that I could find on knife carrying, was dated 2009.

Don't carry a pocket knife, with a blade longer than 2.2 inches.

My folding Swiss Army knife (above) is safe, to carry in my pocket and, that's what I do.

The kitchen knife has a blade exceeding 6 inches so, it stays at home.

Does the Knife Carry Law Get Enforced ?

Yes.  I'll give a few examples, to show, it applies to foreigners and Japanese, as well.

An American traveler had a knife which was 1cm longer than the law allows.

He became a guest of the jailhouse for nine days.

Ignorance of the law, in any foreign country, can get you some time behind bars.

Whenever, I take a flight, the little pocket knife, doesn't go through customs in Japan.

It stays at home and, I use my teeth, to rip open peanut bags and, stuff like that.

Crisis Management Official Busted Too

Drinking until you are incoherent is not illegal in Japan and, that's nice to know.

When a policeman comes along, it's best, to not act stupid.

Like, this city official, who had a paring knife, 3cm over the authorized limit in his possession.

Unable to explain, he had been using it to peel fruit, he was arrested.

A Japanese citizen, who was an official of the city of Wakayama, Japan, he lost his job as well.

Comments by people, who come under American or European laws, don't wash here.

Probable Cause.  Where's the Probable Cause, for police to search this man ?

Acting stupid around police, when you're in violation of the law, would be my first guess.

Hunting Fishing and Camping



Just last Saturday, I was talking about knives, with a gentleman from South America.

He told a story about getting arrested for possession of a knife, in Okinawa.

He was going fishing and, had the knife on the front seat of his car.

Pulled over, for some minor thing, like brake lights, the cop saw the knife.

Had, he kept it in his tackle box, it would have been considered OK.

Many knives, I own exceed the limits of the law but, are used for my work.

As long as, they are stored properly and, only used for business, I'm not violating any laws.


Conversations with a Friend Visiting from USA


A backpacker, hiking and camping around Okinawa had a question via gmail:

Jul 24 2016

Hey Mike
Hope life is good... Can you tell of any knife shops around Naha/Kumoji where I can buy a good sashimi knife ?

Any hardware store I imagine but be aware they have strict laws on carrying knives in Japan.

Same Day His Response:
Thanks and I appreciate the warning. I had no idea until recently. 

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