JAPAN: Pickpocket's Pickpocket

Like most hunters of skill and experience, tiny, deft-fingered Police Inspector Shimpachi Utsugi recalls his triumphs with nostalgic respect for his quarry. "In the old days," says Utsugi of the time when he first joined the imperial police force, "Japan's pickpockets were proud professional men who would never stoop to employ such tactics as cutting garments with a knife." They plied their trade with stealth, skill and subtlety, and to combat them, the young detective matched skill with skill and stealth with stealth. He soon became as good a pickpocket as the pickpockets. On busy days, like those in...

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