Sunday, November 30, 2014

Do the Japanese wear the mask too much?

Some foreigners cite the crowd of people wearing mask as one of the odd things in Japan.

Usually, the person wearing mask does not mean he or she is a patient with infection.
We use the mask for the protection from infection.
For example, the students prepare the school lunch with wearing mask at school every day.

On the other hand, the mask is used to hide the face wearing no make- up sometimes.
That is why the crowd of the Japanese wearing masks which surprise foreigners to hide the tired face after the long trip.

The companies develop its’ own product that reflects the desire of the customers.
For the women and kids, it has reduced the size of the mask to fit more.
There is a great demand for the high-efficiency mask when the flu is going around.
The moisturizing mask keeps your throat comfortable.

Even if the foreigners pointed out the strangeness of the wearing mask everywhere, it seems to be difficult to quit this habit for Japanese so far.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Dry Season has come!

In the winter, we need to pay attention to the dry air to prevent from the cold or flu, and dry skin accompanied by itching.

Today, we heat the room up with air- conditioner which causes more air-dries rather than the kerosene stove.
That is why running the humidifier becomes more and more common in the room.
You have the diversity of choice of the humidifier; the humidifier with ion generator, with aroma, with LED light.
Even the well-designed humidifier becomes a beautiful accessory in our home.

The various moisturizers and lip balms are available at the drugstore for the dry skin.
The cosmetic brand brings new moisturizer to market one after another.

The foreign moisturizer with sweet perfume  is popular among young women; it is one of the excellent gift for women.

Friday, November 28, 2014

What brings coziness on an area rug?

You know people in Japan sit and relax on a floor. And normally there is an area rug in a living room for it. But being on it isn’t cozy in winter as you feel cold on it. So what brings people coziness? It’s an electric radiant floor heating under an area rug (we call it “hot carpet”). It’s very common in Japan and there are many kinds/sizes of floor heating rugs in a market.

When you turn it on, a heat radiates out the heating rug and warms up the area rug over the heating rug. It makes people cozy and comfortable.

It might make you think that using an electric heating rug is costly. I would say, “It might have been before.” Nowadays majority of electric heating rugs are energy efficient. And that’s why most people have at least one at home. Some people have it for a kitchen, a bathroom, and even for pets! 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Yutanpo – it’s a common item in winter

When we sleep at night, we normally turn off heaters in winter, so houses get cold. Instead we use yutanpo to warm up our body.

It’s a tank we put boiled hot water and put it in a thick bag, and keep it inside of a bed/futon, usually around feet. It’s important to keep little distance (about 4 inches) to avoid a burn. It keeps you warn entire night.

Yutanpo isn’t inexpensive, and using it is actually an economical way for winter nights rather than using heaters.

One of my friends (Japanese) living in the U.S. uses yutanpo there and she save a heating cost! (She lives in North Chicago)

Orange and silver ones are traditional types of yutanpo in Japan, though now there are so many kinds and color of yutanpo.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The New-year greeting is sent by the New-Year’s Cards

People rush about the arrangement for the year-end and New Year holidays on December in Japan.
The big thing of these is the preparation of the New Year’s Card.
We prepare it to be delivered just in the time for the New Year’s Day: it should be posted by 25th, December.

On the New Year’s Card, we print the N Year’s greeting and animal symbol of the year: one of the twelve animals defined in the Chinese astrological.
Some announce their marriage, the others announce the new address. 
The children’s photo on it shows how much they grow up by the year.

Although the online New Year’s Cards or sending message by e-mail are getting popular among the casual relationships like friends, it takes for granted that sending New Year’s cards are more polite habits than the e-mail.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ugai & tearai – a gargle and washing hands

To avoid getting sick including flu, Japanese people do ugai (a gargle) and tearai (washing hands) often especially coming back home from outside. Japanese kids are taught these by parents and teachers.

Because there are tons of bacteria outside, people get sick because of bringing and having them.  In Japan actually doing ugai and tearai are the simplest and cheapest ways to protect us from bacteria.

If you come visit Japan in fall or winter, you would see so many posters and booklets which tell you how important ugai and tearai are!