Random facts about Japanese baths

“Some of the earliest [Japanese] settlements were located near natural thermal wells. The warmth of the waters was used for cooking, for protection against the cold, and, undoubtedly, for bathing” Getting Wet pg 23

“According to a survey conducted by Shiseido…virtually all Japanese claimed to bathe (as opposed to shower) three or more times a week, while only about a quarter of New Yorkers did.” pg 24/25

“Parents often bathe with their children until they are big enough to start kindergarten… And it is the mark of the end of the honeymoon years of a marriage when a husband and wife no longer bathe together regularly” Getting Wet pg 26

“According to a study… there were as many as fourteen thousand sudden deaths during bathing in 1999, making bathing a more dangerous activity than driving” Getting Wet pg 28

“At hot spring resorts, the manju- bite-sized buns filled with sugary bean-paste- are steamed in the vapors of the local mineral waters.” Getting Wet pg 106

“hot spring studies is a valid major at many Japanese universities” Getting Wet pg 106

The origins of the light yukata that guests wear around hot spring resorts was “in the earlier days of bathing, when steambaths were more common, Japanese wore a thin white robe, called a yukatabira…into the bath to protect themselves from getting burned when they touched the walls” Getting Wet pg 95

“According to [Dr Yuko] Agishi and most other balneotherapists, the effects of a [hot spring] bath take at least a few weeks to really set in” Getting Wet pg 47

“compared with tap water, the basic salty combination [of hot spring] does work to magnify the power of the waters to heat a bather up, bringing the warmth deeper into the body and keeping it there longer. The primary reason for this is that the salt, or other minerals, on the skin makes it harder for sweat to evaporate, allowing the bathers to, literally, simmer in his or her own juices” Getting Wet pg 41

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