Seasons, A Cultural Moment

Japan is a very seasonal country.  The food, merchandise and clothing all change like clockwork as the seasons change.  I love nabe.  It is a soup base that you can just throw whatever meat and veggies you want into.  However, according to the calendar, summer is just around the corner, so no more nabe soup base.  Not.one.single.one.

There are actual dates on the calendar for when the uniforms change from winter to summer and then back again.  It doesn’t matter if it is too hot or too cold.  If the date on the calendar has not arrived, you cannot change your uniform.  Something new started last year called ‘cool biz.’  It replaces the suits, etc. of winter.  Men wear short sleeve cotton dress shirts with no tie.  Women wear skirts with short sleeve cotton dress blouses with no ribbons, etc.  This is worn in July and August so that you can be a little cooler when they set the temps a little higher on the air conditioners to conserve energy.

Merchandise is changing as well.  The last nuclear plant is set to shut down, if it hasn’t already, so we have to conserve, conserve, conserve.  They are now selling gel pads that you can place on top of your mattress and gel pillows to help you keep cool at night so that you won’t run the air conditioning.  It looks pretty cool actually, no pun intended!

And so the seasons turn here in Japan.  We are preparing for a long, hot summer.

Japan without nuclear power for first time in 42 years

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