Travelers to Japan are often surprised to discover that tipping at restaurants is not expected. So what is left behind after our meals at a restaurant?
Starting in 2012, Yuki Tatsumi began to think about this question. Working as a waiter, he noticed that customers often left behind intricately folded pieces of paper, either objects they made to entertain themselves or as chopstick rests for use during their meals. Collecting these tiny items, he eventually amassed over 13,000 of them, and has since exhibited them in galleries as well as maintains a site dedicated to these small-scale sculptures of the mundane.
As he has said on his website, each of these miniature prizes is, in its own way, a Japanese “tip.” A “thank you” from customers to those who served them. The Japanese Tip website has a wide variety of these “tips” in its gallery, so be sure to check them out!