The Japanese Bath Rituals

by Jeanette Kanaguri

Japanese Bathing Ritual

The Japanese Bath Culture ~ 日本の入浴文化

Dear Sweetheart,

How’re you? Do you enjoy the falling leaves or the start of the summer (depending on where you’re located)?

Today, I would like to share with you how Japanese are taking bath. It’s so different from my culture, Western style bathing. In Japan:

The purpose of bathing is to purify yourself on a deep level and wash off the fatigue of the day. – Marie Kondo, founder of  KonMari

The Japanese Bath Rituals

The first time I came across Japan’s bathing culture was when my Japanese boyfriend (at that time, and now husband) had his first bath in my home. In my home I had a shower located in the bathtub. I seldom used my bathtub, because I wasn’t grown up with that in my childhood.

When he first time visited me, and wanted to take a shower, he asked me whether it was ok to take bathtub instead of shower. I wondered, and said of course yes!

He told me that he was so happy that I had a bathtub because in his apartment there was no bathtub. He also wondered why I never used it.

I could see that he really cherished his bathing. He soaked his whole head and body in the bathtub water, and stayed there for a while.

After some time I also started to use bathtub, and began to love it as much as he did.

In Japan, every home as a bathtub. And it is very natural for Japanese to end the day with a bathtub.

Bathing is an essential part of Japanese culture. – Marie Kondo.

When Japanese taking bathtub, they always rinse their body with soap in the shower before getting in the bathtub. Typically, the Japanese bath are quit hot. It’s because Japanese believe that warming up their body boosts their life energy.

In Japan there’re many types of bathtub salt. They have special ones designed for the summer, and ones only used in the winter season.

In case Japanese don’t’ have the possibility to take bathtub at home, there’re big bathtubs called sento (銭湯). It is communal bathhouse where customer pay for entrance.

How do you like to take your bath?

All my love,

Jeanette

Featured picture is created by Athena Calderone

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