Receiving any kind of medical treatment in a foreign country can be a daunting experience. And when one of the writers from our sister site Pouch gave birth to her second child in the United States, where she was living at the time, she was naturally expecting the procedures to be different from her native Japan. But there were a number of things that shocked, amazed and downright confused her about giving birth in the US – not least the incredible cost incurred.
While the following research study at the University of Tokyo has been going on for over a year now, we feel it’s important enough to bring to your attention, especially following recent medically related events. For the past month or so in the States, autism has once again been thrust into the national spotlight surrounding a “debate” about whether childhood vaccinations could lead to the neurodevelopmental disorder after an outbreak of the preventable measles disease was traced back to California’s Disneyland. Though the original study which found a link between vaccinating children and autism has since been disproved, a number of parents still maintain that a link exists between the two.
That being said, this ongoing Japanese study has been investigating the possibility of whether a nasal spray containing the hormone oxytocin could reduce the severity of symptoms in people with relatively mild forms of autism.
Not so long ago, the norm in Japanese society was for the husband to work and the mother to stay at home to take care of the children. After retirement, should the couple become too old to care for themselves, they would generally move in with their youngest son, whose wife would take on the responsibility of looking after them along with her own children.
These days, though, families are getting smaller, and more mothers are working outside the home. As such, the numbers of both senior centers and daycare providers are on the rise. But rather than keep their two groups of charges separate, some facilities are giving them opportunities to mingle in something called yoro shisetsu, institutions where the very young and elderly interact and share experiences that let them both see that the beauty of life has neither a minimum age nor an expiration date.
Morians Kiodo, a firm based in Iruma City, Saitama Prefecture, is known for developing a new kind of heat pack that is powerful enough to heat food without having to use a flame. It’s certainly a welcome invention for both outdoor adventurer types and people who happen to be experiencing power outages.
Now, the same company has utilized their technological prowess to create user-friendly hydrogen gas-emitting bath kits, which can be easily administered in the comfort of your own home. So easy, in fact, that our ace Japanese reporter Yoshio decided to–wait for it–test out the water for himself!
Imagine crowds of Japanese families donning poop-shaped plush hats and sliding into a huge toilet. No, this isn’t a scene from a dream brought on by a questionable bowl of ramen, this is just one of the many surreal exhibits from a Tokyo educational expo that organizers hoped would inspire visitors to “gain an increased appreciation of toilets.”
When you think of gyoza, those traditionally Chinese parcels of meaty, vegetable-y goodness that go so perfectly with a frosty mug of beer, do you imagine they’re more likely to appeal to dainty, health-conscious ladies, or undiscerning, ravenous salarymen? Whilst undeniably delicious, gyoza are generally seen as an unrefined food option – good for a quick stuffing, but hardly haute cuisine. That’s all set to change with the invention of “Happy Maru“, a range of colorful boiled gyoza “dumplings” infused with beautifying collagen and polyphenols for the health and beauty-conscious modern woman. But just what’s so different about them?
Our ace reporter Mr. Sato is currently into his 40s and during a conversation with one of his peers the other day he learnt that men of that age run a certain risk of diminished sperm. For instance, the man he was talking to recently got tested only to find that his sperm count was dropping to what he called the “requiem” stage.
This prompted Mr. Sato to actually think about what was going on down there, so he decided to get checked himself to make sure he wasn’t in his reproductive autumn as well. Luckily, it was learned that not only is Mr. Sato healthy but there’s a party in his pants…and yes, we’re all invited!
Ah, wasabi, the pungent root that adds spice to sushi and gets up the noses of over-enthusiastic consumers, leaving many a watery eye and a burning palate. It seems that you either love wasabi or hate it, with wasabi-lovers clamoring for a touch of the green stuff in a variety of forms including Kit-Kats and potato chips, and wasabi-haters strictly stipulating to sushi chefs that they require their sushi sabi-nuki de, or sans wasabi. But did you know that the wasabi-lovers actually get to enjoy a host of health and beauty benefits that are denied to those who shy away from this miraculous wonder root? Read on as we unveil the five surprising health effects of regular wasabi consumption!
If you’ve turned to E-cigarettes to reduce the damage of your smoking habit or help you quit, you may want to avoid Chinese brands unless you’re prepared to turn your computer into a smoking, sputtering paperweight as a sacrifice to your improved health.
That’s because there seems to be mounting evidence that some Chinese E-cigarettes can literally infect your computer with viruses and malware.
Japanese customs dictate taking your shoes off when entering homes, and also some restaurants. But while this practice helps keep the floors clean, there’s a downside to it too, as kicking off your kicks means there’s one less layer between your possibly stinky feet and the people around you.
So when we heard about a method to reduce your feet’s bouquet, we decided to give it a shot, especially since it’s as simple as changing the type of socks you wear.
On November 18, Asahi released its new Fuji-san Vanadium Natural Water Hot, apparently banking on the idea that regular convenience store-going human beings would both a) know what Vanadium is, and b) actually want to consume just plain hot water out of a bottle.
While out shopping the other day, I picked up a bag of prewashed rice. The grocery store was having a sale, so it was just as cheap as the unwashed kinds, and I figured, “Hey, there’s no advantage to having to rinse it myself is there?”
But as it turns out, the water left over after you wash the rice, called togijiru in Japanese, is actually pretty useful, as shown by these five ways you can reuse it instead of just dumping it down the sink.
Which is worse, hair in your mayonnaise or mayonnaise in your hair? Assuming you haven’t actually eaten any, hair in your mayo is actually a pretty easy problem to rectify. You either toss the jar out, or you make lunch for any of your sworn enemies who’d accept a surprise sandwich from you despite your less than friendly relationship.
Mayonnaise in your hair, on the other hand, means you yourself are dirty though, and you’ve got to stop whatever you’re doing (such as crafting diabolical plots against your aforementioned enemies) to go and shampoo, right?
Actually, you don’t, according to people in Japan who say spreading a little mayo on your hair is actually good for it.
I hate winter. 20-plus years of living in sunny southern California didn’t do anything to help me build up a tolerance for cold weather, and honestly, if I could make like the bears and just gorge myself on salmon for a few weeks and then sleep until spring, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
Unfortunately, since hibernation isn’t really an option, I have to rely on a blanket and down comforter to make it through the freezing winter nights. Even still, the cold often leaves me shivering (plus grumbling, cursing, and generally complaining).
As it turns out, though, instead of blaming Old Man Winter for all my discomfort, I’m actually part of the problem, according to Japanese experts who say I’ve been using my comforter and blanket the wrong way.
Let’s say you love looking at the moon. You’re enchanted by its beautifully full and round shape, and sometimes you find it so enticing you’d like to reach out and touch it (with its permission, of course).
But all that ardent admiration still doesn’t mean you actually know anything about the moon, does it?
That’s not too far from the relationship some men have with women’s breasts, according to this list of 11 things Japanese women wish more men understood about their chests.
With a couple of months having passed since summer vacation, many of us are feeling the need for a few days off. After all, who doesn’t like getting away from their workaday routine for the liberating excitement of a few days taking a trip someplace new, like North Korea?
But if your short-term travel wish list includes a trip to the northern reaches of the Korean Peninsula, you might want to postpone your departure, because as of October 24, no foreign tourists are getting in, due to a new government policy to prevent the spread of Ebola to the communist country.
There are certain topics that although you may be interested in, one just doesn’t bring up in polite company, the least of which being the regularity of a country’s bowel movements. But luckily our poop-curious friends over at Glico (as in the major Japanese snack company) recently completed a survey about constipation that gives us a very personal look at the health of Japan’s number two habits. The aptly named “Lifestyle and Constipation” survey has revealed which Japanese prefectures are keeping things downstairs regular and which ones are all clogged up.
I spent two winter seasons working in the hospital emergency room (as a translator) in Niseko, a popular Hokkaido snow holiday destination for foreigners. While we had our share of broken bones from ski and boarding accidents, what impressed upon me most was the number of people who get ill while on vacation. There were just as many sudden illnesses as snow-related accidents–everything from gastrointestinal disorders to ear infections and first-time asthma attacks which too many times put people in the emergency room.
The good news is that most of these illnesses can be avoided, but different cultures pose different health risks and knowing what to watch out for beforehand can be tricky, if not impossible. In this article, I’ll share some tips on how to stay healthy while traveling in Japan in wintertime, based on my experience working with hundreds of foreigners who ended up in hospital on their vacations.
By following some simple (but not necessarily so obvious) rules, we aim to keep our snow-loving Rocketeers out of Japan’s hospitals and flying down the slopes in all their glory instead!
So, usually when it comes to burgers in Japan, we prefer to let the talented burger artists at famous fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s, Burger King and especially Lotteria do their thing – because it usually results in crazy squid ink burgers, nine-patty monstrosities, and other 6th grade science experiment-esque monstrosities.
But McDonald’s has slowly been unveiling a tech- and customer-savvy new way of dealing burgers with its limited run of “Create a Burger” options at select stores.
Ever felt like you needed a little company or affection but didn’t want to go through the hassle of actually interacting with another human being face-to-face?
You might go for a new pet – a dog, cat, or, in even the creepiest of circumstances, an exotic reptile – or you might head to an online chatroom, some kind of hotline, a mobile app, or maybe even one of those newfangled virtual schoolgirl ogling simulators.
Or, if you’re a misunderstood serial killer, maybe you’d instead go for one of these incredibly disconcerting hugging clown chairs.