Jack and I were at dinner at a little tapas place in Roppongi. I was bothered by the empty wine box resting between us at the bottom of the table. I had nowhere for my feet to rest. Jack tells me the box is for my purse. I forgot about this. I said, "But how would you know that is for my purse?" He said he looked under all the other tables and saw women's purses and man bags sitting in the baskets and boxes. Duh.
They do that here. They provide a special container to set your purse/bag in at a restaurant, instead of placing it on the 'dirty' floor or on the back of your chair. Last year I was out with 4 girlfriends at a restaurant at the Grand Hyatt. Instead of a basket, they gathered all of our purses set them on a chair and then covered them with a napkin?!?!?!? And at my house, my girlfriend was over, my American girlfriend, and I noticed her purse was sitting in our newspaper basket. I questioned her why it was there and she said she just assumed it was the Japanese bag holder. She has been here a bit longer than us.