Posts Tagged ‘japanese’
I’ve decided that my room isn’t big enough for a bed.
At about 8 feet by 10 feet, I can just barely fit my two desks, a couch and some random computer chair, but I can’t comfortably squeeze in a mattress, box spring and bed frame. Therefore, I’ve decided to live without one.
Thanks, Japan, for making this decision possible. I figured that because your largest metropolitan area has an average of almost 5,800 residents crammed in every square kilometer, you know a little something about space management. For readers who need a more allegorical comparison, that’s like cramming the population of the city of Los Angeles into the city limits of San Francisco. Tight fit.
So instead of taking that extra-long twin my parents want out of their house and stashing it somewhere in my room, I pull out a cheap, blue, child-sized futon at night. I sleep on that, in the style of all those really crowded countries across the Pacific.
It’s mighty comfortable, even ignoring that it lays right on the floor and all. I like my mattresses firm. The floor is pretty firm.
I have no reason to switch back in the near future, especially considering the health benefits of a firm mattress for my sort of sleeper.
I’m thinking that this is a pretty smart move, at the very least because not having to worry about a permanent fixture in the middle of my room really opens up my place.
When I think about it, though, this isn’t a decision between mattress and futon. The last guy with this room had no problem with his bed the way it was, and he had a mighty fine bed. No, this was a decision between one mattress and two or three large, wooden bookcases.
Even after recognizing that this is the real reason I’m going without a West-style bed, I’d choose bookcases any day of the week. Nothing makes me feel more at home than multiple full bookshelves. I’d like to get back to that.
Of course, it’s a good thing I’m only sleeping Japanese and not living it. If I were living Japanese, I wouldn’t be able to afford an apartment large enough to fit either my mattress or the behemoth-sized oak shelving coming my way.
In other words, God bless America.
… and that goes for cinema and anime alike.
For some reason, though, Japan thinks it’s getting a little chubby around the waist, so they’ve enacted some reforms. By law, Japanese citizens must now stay at a healthy weight.
Under a national law that came into effect two months ago, companies and local governments must now measure the waistlines of Japanese people between the ages of 40 and 74 as part of their annual checkups. That represents more than 56 million waistlines, or about 44 percent of the entire population.
Those exceeding government limits — 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women, which are identical to thresholds established in 2005 for Japan by the International Diabetes Federation as an easy guideline for identifying health risks — and having a weight-related ailment will be given dieting guidance if after three months they do not lose weight. If necessary, those people will be steered toward further re-education after six more months.
To reach its goals of shrinking the overweight population by 10 percent over the next four years and 25 percent over the next seven years, the government will impose financial penalties on companies and local governments that fail to meet specific targets. The country’s Ministry of Health argues that the campaign will keep the spread of diseases like diabetes and strokes in check.
Not that it’s easy to litigate rules on health.
Summoned by the city of Amagasaki one recent morning, Minoru Nogiri, 45, a flower shop owner, found himself lining up to have his waistline measured. With no visible paunch, he seemed to run little risk of being classified as overweight, or metabo, the preferred word in Japan these days.
But because the new state-prescribed limit for male waistlines is a strict 33.5 inches, he had anxiously measured himself at home a couple of days earlier. “I’m on the border,” he said. …
When his turn came, Mr. Nogiri, the flower shop owner, entered a booth where he bared his midriff, exposing a flat stomach with barely discernible love handles. A nurse wrapped a tape measure around his waist across his belly button: 33.6 inches, or 0.1 inch over the limit.
“Strikeout,” he said, defeat spreading across his face.
Given the consistently high concern over childhood obesity here in the United States, I can’t help but wonder whether or not this would work over here, even on a smaller scale.
Not that it would ever pass, or should, but as they say in the movies, “It’s just crazy enough to make half of the population hate the government.”