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Help! There’s Underwear On My Balcony!

What's the procedure for returning someone's underwear?

By 1 min read 29

One of the best things about living in a Japanese manshon (aside from the thick walls, great security system, and wooden flooring) is the friendly neighbors. Granted, I can’t tell you any of their names, but we all politely nod to each other coming in and out of the building.

This system worked pretty well until someone’s underwear landed on my balcony.


Most Japanese families do laundry every afternoon. On sunny days, you can see people’s clothes drying on the balcony. Personally, I love drying my laundry outside. My husband swears sun is the best disinfectant – and I’m inclined to believe him.

The only downside to letting your laundry dry on the balcony is the fact that if you’re not careful, some of your clothes might blow away. A little over a month ago, I was surprised to find a pair of pink underwear on the edge of our apartment’s balcony.

What are you supposed to do in this situation? Return it? Throw it away? Put it downstairs in the lobby? Try to toss it onto someone else’s balcony?

I still have no idea.

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  • Stephen Roach says:

    Just knock on the door upstairs and say “Did you lose this/these?” for Christ’s sake! Why is everyone so precious about stuff like this?

  • Tiffany says:

    Once when my twin and I was living in Japan, our clothes got knocked off of our line by a friend of ours who we brought over because they were drunk and we didn’t want them to get in trouble. Next day, we just when to our neighbor’s home and told her and she was very awesome she picked up our clothes for us and gave them back. 🙂

  • Lisa Case says:

    Put it in their mailbox? If you put it in your neighbor’s balcony below you they will think it’s yours!

  • Chandrakant Kulkarni says:

    Donate it to a Nudists’ Club.

  • Tess de la Serna says:

    Read all the comments and they made me laugh! I would not know what to do.

  • Vanessa Kettering says:

    When I took a semester in Italy, I was on the other end of this. I lost some bras. Two I found in the courtyard. Well, one my host lady found. She came in and asked “is this yours?” I was all set to just give them up as lost, but when she found the one I had to confess. Naturally, the last one was my bright pink one. She suggested it might have wound up on the line below us, and we jsut had to go down and ask. She said it was very common and not a problem in Italy. She went with me, thank heavens as the door was opened by this very cute Italian guy. I was so embarrassed, but became good friends with the downstairs neighbors. I got invited to one of their birthdays and had the best lasagna ever.

  • Jeremy Brooks says:

    I think it depends on how well you know them. We got to know our upstairs neighbours quite well. When we got fallen laundry we would hang it on their door. We never got underwear thank goodness. Maybe I’d let my wife handle that one.

  • Sik says:

    I would imagine the owner would end up way more embarassed than you if you go return it (;゚ω゚)

  • Burn it. Avoid making eye contact forever.

  • Ray H says:

    Letting the downstairs neighbor figure it out is a brilliant solution. However, what if they think it’s yours and give it to you? Then right back where you started. Hopefully the downstairs neighbor will further throw it downstairs, and it will continue infinitely until it’s on the conscience of the first-floor dweller to throw away the offending panties.

  • Aditi says:

    LOL…I couldn’t control my laugh! At times situations in Japan can be quite tricky because of the politeness factor.

  • Kuze says:

    i supposed the right response is to leave it alone until they find it on your veranda. then claim it

  • paw says:

    Sell them to those underwear wending machines lol

  • Dre Tachibana Price says:

    Just put them in a paper bag or a dark colored plastic grocery bag and promtly take them back to them…or you could leave the bag and knock on the door then run and hope for the best…lol. Just be polite and discreet about it.

  • Wiehahn Mundey says:

    Wear it on your head and shout: I am HENTAI KAMEN!!!

  • Shamsul Arifeen says:

    Infront of your Door, hang one notice! Saying found one sweet cloth. If it yours please take it.

  • EroBotan says:

    you can put them on auction sites!

  • Shenelle King says:

    What I would do when I was in Japan and this happened is put them in a sack, sneak up to their door and just place it on the door handle~!

  • Ben Hawkins says:

    Wow you’re a really loyal wife! Most women I know wouldn’t have reacted like this if they found another woman’s panties at her house.
    Your husbands a lucky guy

  • Kevin Lessnau says:

    Glad I live on the top floor.

  • Sami Shlimon says:

    Send it to gaijinpot

  • jeri says:

    maybe your husband invited a friend to which that pink undies belong to.

  • Misyel Ann B. Aquino says:

    whats the answer,whats the best thing to do? honestly,one longsleeve fell in our neighbors balcony and suprizingly hanged in the stairs in the first floor..but what about undies..

  • Ronald Ivan says:

    That response is soooo Asian. I grew up with that kind response from virtually every adult I asked. 🙂

  • basspig says:

    And all through this read, I was expecting an answer to the question!

  • papiGiulio says:

    btw these drawings are cute as hell. you should release a book with these about japanese daily life.

  • papiGiulio says:

    Hah, so this happens to more people. We had a similar problem last year. I opened the curtains and saw this soggy wet (it had rained the night before) manpants on my balcony . Not sure what to do with it, I left it there and asked the missus about what to do with it and she told me to pick it up and bring it to the neighbors. “are you *ffin kidding me?”. In the end I think she cleaned it up, because i forgot all about it.

    At least the panties you found were pink, Id had not problem returning those assuming the neighbor is cute.

    But yeah throwing it to another balcony hah, that’s hilarious. Let other people worry about someone’s panties.



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