If you have ever been to Japan on a rainy day, you may be surprised to see how many umbrellas come out at the first drop of rain. In some countries, people seem to be more tolerant of rain and get by with rain jackets or even just braving it if it's only a light drizzle. Not in Japan. For that reason, umbrellas are ubiquitous. Practically every convenience store, pharmacy, and many supermarkets will sell virtually identical clear, vinyl umbrellas as cheaply as a few hundred yen, and standard-issue cloth umbrellas for a few hundred more.

And while this is very convenient for those who like to stay dry, the sheer number of identical and inexpensive umbrellas creates a perennial problem for umbrella owners: they're often stolen. To be fair, when the cheap, vinyl umbrellas are stolen from an umbrella rack outside a convenience store, for example, it's very likely a case of mistaken identity since they're often together with similar ones in the same umbrella rack. However, the fact that they are so plentiful and so cheap means that they are sometimes taken intentionally.

Some people have gotten creative with tricks to stop umbrella theft. One commonly used technique is to stick a label with messages invoking some kind of authority such as: "Property of the Police." Others try to appeal to more sinister forces as a deterrent, for example by writing the kanji 呪 noroi (meaning "curse") on their umbrellas.

But amateur leather craftsman @kozeni_shkt took the fear factor up another notch with this spine-chilling leather umbrella strap that literally gives you a stern look:

source: @kozeni_shkt

source: @kozeni_shkt

Apparently, he had already created a version of this strap with a more serene, relaxed eye. However, when it occurred to him that his strap was the ideal anti-theft device, he quickly made a new version with a more alert and intense eye. Here are the two versions for comparison:

source: @kozeni_shkt

He's also thinking of making an earphone cable clip:

source: @kozeni_shkt

He has a variety of models he has been working on, as you can see:

source: @kozeni_shkt

If you're interested in getting one of these straps for yourself, you may be in luck, if this exchange is any indication:

---"Sorry for jumping into the conversation but I just wanted to say this is a wonderful piece of work! If it's available for sale online, I would definitely buy one."

---"Thank you very much! I just made it as a hobby so I'm not planning on selling it for the time being. However, I've been getting messages from all kinds of people telling me they'd like me to sell it, so I think I'll consider it!"

If you want to keep an eye on the situation, your best bet is to follow his Twitter account for the announcement, if and when he decides to go through with it.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.