“I should tell you that I’m first dan,” he informs would-be thief.

Customer service in Japan really is incredible. For example, on October 16, at around 4 in the morning, a man walked into the Shimojima Minami branch of convenience store Circle K in Shizuoka City’s Aoi Ward.

Noticing that the man was wearing a ski mask and carrying a crowbar, an attentive male clerk who was working at the time quickly anticipated the man’s needs, and helpfully got the ball rolling by asking “You here for our money?”

“That’s right,” the man said, continuing their pithy yet cordial line of dialogue.

Of course, even in Japan there’s a limit to how accommodating business can be, and handing out cash to every robbery who asks for it, politely or not, isn’t something Circle K is prepared to do. So instead the clerk picked up a bokuto, or wooden training sword, that he kept handy.

▼ Bokuto

“I should tell you that I’m first dan in kendo,” the clerk said as he took a fighting stance, thoughtfully informing the robber that he had progressed to the first tier of the upper certification ranks in the traditional Japanese sword-fighting discipline. At the same time the clerk hit the alarm button, and the robber, not liking his odds against a trained martial artist with police backup on the way, instead chose to flee the scene without stealing so much as a single onigiri rice ball.

▼ The store where the incident took place

While not quite the same show of brute force as the 54-year-old woman who defeated a convenience store robber with her bare hands, the clerk has been praised by online commenters for his gallantry and awesomeness. It’s actually a shame that Circle K, being one of Japan’s less-successful chains, is actually in the middle of a downsizing process, but if the Shimojima Minami branch does shut down one day, perhaps the heroic clerk can get work as a samurai bodyguard instead.

Source: TV Asahi, YouTube/SBSnews6 via Hachima Kiko
Top image: PhotoAC/kagayakuhana
Insert image: Wikipedia/Worldantiques

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s now wondering about the combat prowess of his local convenience store’s clerks.