Kumiko Makihara has just written a typically interesting piece on Japanese regular health checks in IHT, starting with the reason for the name, which is because it is supposed to be like a shipping going into dock to be checked. Other JapanExplained type questions asked include why they are so popular and why nothing is done about the unnecessary worry and additional testing that check ups which 90% of the population fail cause.:
I knew it was a man-made problem, but didn’t know the details until I read The Economist this week. After WWII the sugi trees were planted to provide material to rebuild houses, but after import tariffs fell it became too unprofitable to even be worth cutting the trees down. It’s not just the sheer number of trees that is responsible, though – as they grow higher, each tree emits more and more pollen every year.
August 7, 2012 at 7:03 am (Japanese health)
…as seen in pajamas for kids with huge waist bands and similar waist bands that can be worn under other clothes.
I’m pretty sure that location comes from the Chinese idea that the chi (Japanese ki, a kind of lifeforce), lives in the stomach. It must be said, though, that most cultures have an idea that keeping one particular part of the body hot or cold has almost magical effects on the whole body. My wife was mystified by characters sticking their feet in bowls of hot water in Sean the Sheep and the more recent Western belief that keeping your head warm is enough to keep all of you safe from cold weather has also recently be disproved.
June 10, 2012 at 7:29 am (Japanese health care)
One major reason may be that it is only known as “acetaminophen” (アセトアミノフェン):
“Paracetamol as it’s known in the Uk has the generic name of acetaminophen. It’s marketed as Tylenol in the US. You can often find Tylenol in regular Japanese pharmacies. If not then ask the doctor for acetaminophen. I’ve been given it in Japan for a fever but it came in 100mg tablets whereas the UK paracetamol is in 500mg tablets. I think the US Tylenol is 350mg in one tablet but I don’t know about the one sold in Japan. Read the label. “
From the last comment here:
“regarding paracetamol I also managed to find it in Japan !
For the people who are unfamiliar with paracetamol it is a very popular drug that is used as a pain reliever (analgesic) and to reduce fever (antipyretic). However it has no anti-inflammatory properties. This drug was first available in the UK in 1956 under the brand name Panadol (“gentle to the stomach”), unlike aspirin this drug didn’t irritate the stomach lining. The name paracetamol was originally the british generic name for the drug but it was later also adopted as the International Non Proprietary Name.
In the US this drug is known as Acetaminophen (a popular brand is Tylenol), it has been available since 1955. In Japan they also call this drug by the US name, Acetaminophen !! So I found that I could buy it at the pharmacy by asking for Acetaminophen ( the dictionary lists this as the katakana pronunciation アセトアミノフェン )
When I asked for paracetamol initially they had never heard of it, or another place told me it wasn’t available in japan. However when I ask for Acetaminophen no problem !”
from near the bottom of here:
June 10, 2011 at 9:50 pm (Japanese doctors)
“One hospital even required all women to give birth by induced labour on a fixed schedule. This, I supposed, was an offshoot of the just-in-time inventory method that made Toyota so successful.”
About Face by Clayton Naff pg 232
Hopefully this is just a joke, because he also points that Japan has one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates, and that is partly because of doctor’s obsession with birth weight and therefore inducing birth before it would become too difficult. Like most Japanese, they are also free of the irrational Western love of the “natural”.
My wife wasn’t supposed to even cook for one month after giving birth. My theory was that the (hidden) reason was to save them from the traditional slavedriving of their mothers in law. One commenter on this great post on all the things that are banned for Japanese women who are expecting seems to agree.
I went in for an H1N1 test here in Korea and was told I just had a cold but came out with a prescription for five (!) drugs, none of which I even bothered getting from the chemist’s.
One reason doctors in Japan, Korea and Thailand (my three Asian countries) give so many drugs is that local patients demand them. I’d always assumed that was part of the Asian optimism about science and the future in general and lack of worries about chemicals such as food additives, with maybe a bit of risk-adverse doctors being more likely to be condemned for doing too little rather than too much and some profit to the doctors. According to an article I read yesterday by an American doctor in Korea, though, it is because giving drugs to restore the body’s balance ties in with the ancient Chinese concept of chi (ki in Japanese), being a kind of mystic energy. He said that Western patients thanked him for giving them no treatment, whereas Korean patients demand injections. Certainly ties in with the “more weird stuff is better” philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine.
In Japanese, that name has the same pronunciation as the first two syllables of “ibuprofen”, which is what it is
So, not because it is especially designed for women as I thought. Took me an unbelievably long time to work that one out- sorry if it is obvious to everyone else in Japan!
I really do mean in the showers, not just in the shower room! It’s under a hotel, so the only thing I can imagine is that once in the halcyon smoking days of the 80s hotel guests would sit around the pool on loungers (even though it is indoor, but I saw someone doing that in the Iidabashi Konami Sports today) having a puff. That is strictly my imagination, though. Any better theories?
The connection seems to be that they are offices of chemical and engineering companies, although the people actually in the offices just do desk work so can’t imagine they would have any special practical reason for using it???