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WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Summertime and Life's In and Outs

 Protection of the skin through use of a beach ...Image via Wikipedia


Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr.


( summer has been hotter and longer than most.But rather  than fight it hide indoors in the comfort of air conditioning. Westerners of all ages seem to embrace the summer with a certain zest:tank tops, shorts, sandals, wrinkles,skin cancer. The Japanese on the other hand,do not seem to be suited for heat. I remember as a child in the summertime in Gloucester,City as a boy running in and out of the house all day long in bare feet and no shirt just wearing blue jeans to go outside. Not in Japan. Children are not allowed to go outside without changing from indoor slippers to outdoor footwear, Japanese children are never allowed to go out without a shirt that is forbidden.


You cannot reverse the process either, and simply run into the house from outside, even if you are running from lions.They'd surely catch up with you and swallow you up once you reach the genkan area shoe change.(entrance area where shoes are removed.) Not in Japan. So,why is it that Japanese people change out their shoes when going inside and Westerners don't? Obviously, Japan is a very dirty country. Furthermore, just in case you didn't know,dirt is evil. Scientifically speaking, in much the way heat rises, evil accumulates on the ground. And when you consider that heaven is above,and hell is below,you're really just treading on the surface of hell. So take off those shoes before you walk into a Japanese the house.


When you leave the house,you'll want to take with you a hat, a parasol (preferably a UV ray blocking one), white gloves, and forearm covers. Yes, forearm covers! I'v seen so many women wearing these on the beach near my home this summer. My guess is that instead of wearing long sleeve shirts to protect your arms from the sun (another evil element), the forearm covers are cooler the leave room for the armpits to breathe. Armpits do have rights too. Unfortunately, the right to bear arms is not one of them. If it's an entire family going outside, say to the beach, this will require an (uchiawase) meeting to prepare a list of all the things they'll need: a cooler full of drinks,head towels, face cloth,a vinyl sheet,a beach Parasol or tent,and a Japanese style fan just in case they can't find an air-conditioner (umi no ie), a small house with tatami mats to sit on, one can rent them for about $20 U.S.Dollars per day at most beach areas.

If your driving to the outdoors, you'll have to brave the elements in your car such as dust and the evil dirt on your shoes. Driving shoes are recommended so you have clean shoes on for driving.If you must wear your street, put a newspaper down on the floor of the car to keep the floor clean from dirty dirt.(quite a lot of Japanese people also have shoes in the car for driving only).


There is a lot of dirty dust in the air as well,so protect the stick shift with frilly cloth cover. You might want to seriously consider white driving  gloves. Protect, protect! As a nation, the Japanese spend a lot more money on self-defense than the media lets on.


I think about Native Americans hundreds of years ago sitting around the camp fire in those southern desert states in the U.S.if the Indians were Japanese, they'd have perished while sending smoke signals.Pocahontas would have had to close her parasol every time she needed a riding crop.In such a hot country as Japan,you wonder how the women could wear kiminos. Maybe women wore kimonos to protect their bodies from the evil dust, wind and sun. You'll swelter, and grow some moldy things that thrive in most, dark places,but other than that,you'll feel perfectly hot. And why, after all that effort, did they neglect the back of the neck? The solution to the heat in Japan is simple:


Just switch to Greenwich Mean Time. Right now, at 10:00 a.m. in Japan it is 9:00 New Jersey. If we switched to U.S.time right now, we could go back to bed! Everyone as a nation, could catch up on some badly needed sleep. Beautiful Japan could have a beautiful sleep:(A national ne-ne.)


When we wake up, it will be night time and very cool. Than we can enjoy a 12-hour work day without heat. Nocturnal animals figured this out a long time ago. Then, when  the winter comes around, we can switch back over to Japan Standard Time. But I don't like to talk about winter.I just don't seem suited for it at the moment. It's really a great place with a lot of rules to follow.


I hope that everyone had a really great summer back in the U.S.A.


Warm Regards & Best Wiashes from Kitakyushu City, Japan.

Hank F. Miller Jr. 


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