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Orange Monks?

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  • Orange Monks?

    Seems like every time I wander out at the weekend I get accosted by Monk in Orange outfits.

    They are very nice, talk about world peace, promise to pray for you, ask for your name and where in the world you come from, then show you a picture of their 'new' temple and ask for a contribution. At this point they present you with a list of other contributors which indicates what they've given (average of 2000 yen per person), obviously intended as a useful guide as how much to give...

    The first one fooled me - and we got all the way to giving him money phase before I realised what was going on.. Needless to say I have waved them off since. Since my stay I have taken time to observe their MOD, and needless to say they ignore the locals and merely approach Westerners. I did do some research, as there is indeed a long history of Monks and the giving of money/begging but IMO these guys are just charlatans preying on gullible foreigners.

    But by way of example, I was approached by 4 different orange suited monks last Saturday as I walked to and from Roppongi Hills (in the space of 2 hours!)

    I need a badge or sign to fend them off. Anyone else find them annoying?

  • #2
    It looks like the scam has increased in popularity...

    http://forum.gaijinpot.com/showthrea...Roppongi-Hiroo


    Originally posted by NorthByNorthwest
    It's a pretty polished schtick. A friendly-looking Asian dude sporting a smile, short hair and orange pyjamas comes up to you, raises his hand in greeting and unless you can dodge it, gives you an innocuous benediction. He explains he's a Buddhist monk, so won't you please sign his book? He also holds out some gold-colored card the size of a playing card which he appears to wish to give you. Glancing at the book, he implores you to simply write your name. You see others before you have ... along with "prayer request for PEACE which he then tries to ask you to fill in followed by a ..WTF? .. donation amount. Other fools - unless they were dummy names he wrote in as a social proofing trick - indicate they have donated amounts of Y10,000, Y5,000 and Y1,000. The last name however had a blank space.

    Time to get out of here. "No, thanks". He whips out an explanation in Japanese and English which I figure contains a mild threat to those superstitious enough to believe they will be cursed if they do not comply. "Meh" His English is pretty annoying. "One thousand yen! Don't you have one thousand yen? Give me one thousand yen!" The tone gets threatening. "Sorry. Let me go." (as he is blocking my way). I reach for the golden ticket but he angrily shoves it into his pocket. Now that I got him to lose his temper, any so-called social contract is now broken. I continue on my way.

    Worse than Hare Krishnas.

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    • #3
      I believe the genuine Buddhist monks are not allowed to ask for anything -- it has to be freely given. So they'll be the ones silently standing, holding a bowl, and it's entirely up to you whether or not you make a contribution.

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      • #4
        Well there's more than one now... Also they seem to operate patches. The one who got most of the way with me was told he was getting nowt, he still askes every time I see him. There most be a fair few falling to these tricksters though. The guide books should add them to their other warnings about Roppongi. Most were milling around Roppongi crossing.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by iago View Post
          I believe the genuine Buddhist monks are not allowed to ask for anything -- it has to be freely given. So they'll be the ones silently standing, holding a bowl, and it's entirely up to you whether or not you make a contribution.
          and now I have an idea on how to make extra pocket money on the weekends!

          Comment

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