Sometimes, a not-so-gentle reminder is all it takes to make sure your belongings continue to be yours.

Nothing will dampen your mood more quickly than getting ready to head out of your office, school, or any other building on a rainy day only to discover that someone took the umbrella you left by the entrance. It’s something that even happens in Japan, despite the low crime rates, and it’s all the more frustrating since going just about anywhere in the country’s public transit-dependent cities first means a walk outdoors to the station, and without an umbrella you’ll be drenched by the time you’re back under a roof.

In the past, we’ve seen people try to protect their umbrellas with a bit of intimidating trickery, invoking nebulous powers both legal and mystical. But perhaps the best way to deal with problems like these is the direct method. That’s certainly the attitude of the owner of this white-handled umbrella photographed by Japanese Twitter user @cocco_zaurus.

Slapped on the handle is a large-font label, clearly and forcefully reminding anyone looking at it “Omae no janai,” which means.

“This one isn’t yours.”

The use of omae for “you,” instead of the more neutral anata, adds a little extra impact, since omae is one of those rough-around-the-edges words the Japanese language has in lieu of outright profanity.

▼ Feel free to print this out and tape it to your umbrella.

While this forceful reminder isn’t going to actually stop any truly determined umbrella thief, it should be an extremely effective safeguard against what many would say is a bigger problem. While some people in Japan carry around fancy, high-class umbrellas they bought at department stores, in just about any umbrella stand there are going to be multiple cheap plastic ones that someone picked up at a 100 yen shop or convenience store. These are almost universally made with a clear plastic covering and a solid black or white plastic handle that curves back up at the end, making them hard to distinguish from one another at a glance.

▼ Whoa, Blue Boy’s owner must be an artist or something.

It’s likely that a lot of umbrella “thieves” are accidental offenders who walked off with someone else’s umbrella by accident after mistaking it for their own. Because of that, anything that’s eye-catching and makes your handle distinctive should do the trick. Granted, there are more polite ways of phrasing “This isn’t yours,” like swapping anata for omae, which would look like this.

Still, the 140,000-plus people who liked @cocco_zaurus’s tweet saw the humor in exasperation of its strong language, and in a lot of ways it beats the alternative of protecting your umbrella by creeping people out.

Source: Twitter/@cocco_zaurus via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: SoraNews 24, Pakutaso

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he avoid having his umbrella stolen by just not leaving his apartment on rainy days.