One morning when I came to breakfast at the Okura Hotel in Tokyo, I noticed the employees were wearing black arm bands.

"Someone die?" I asked the waiter.

"No. We're on strike."

Puzzled, I asked, "If you're on strike, what are you doing here working?"

He looked surprised as he answered, "If we don't work, our guests will not get proper service."

I had a dinner engagement at a tempura restaurant in the Gion district of Kyoto.

My cab driver took a wrong turn and because of the complicated one-way streets, I was five minutes late.

When I started to pay, he refused to accept my money.

"I gave you poor service. I'm not entitled to payment."

At a small post office in northern Kyoto, I was making a call. Near the phone, someone had left a valuable gold fountain pen.

When I finished my call, I took the pen over to the postal worker behind the counter.

"Put it back where you found it," he said. "The person who left it will soon come back for it."