Did you know that one of the top health issues that Japanese women are concerned about is feeling of being cold? The symptom is called “Hi-e-sho (冷え性)” or sensitivity to cold. Hiesho women tend to feel cold, especially in the tips of their hands and feet. I myself have often felt “Hie Sho”.
According to this article by PR TIMES, research shows that the no.1 health related concern that Japanese working women have during winter months is “Hiesho or feeling cold” followed by “Dry skin”. And it shows that a lot of respondents were interested in “Onkatsu（温活）”; activities to warm up their bodies.
The research also helps us understand what Japanese women are doing to prevent themselves from feeling cold. “Taking a hot bath” ranked no.1 followed by “Drinking something warm”, “Wearing socks or Haramaki” (see image) and “Eating something warm.”
Naturally, there are many goods and items sold targeted at treating Hiesho women in the Japanese market. Some of these include 4-5 layered socks (I own a pair). My Hiesho friend gave a pair to me and I am quite fond of them now, as I live in Portland where winter weather gets pretty chilly (for Hiesho women like me).
Another Onkatsu example could be having a bowl of warm soup – the article titled “10 soup recipes perfect for Onkatsu” on the４MEEE site shares a variety of soup recipes supposed to be perfect for Onkatsu.
Unique to Japanese women?
I’ve tried to explain “Hiesho” to my American friends and only then realized there was no such concept in one word in English, which I found interesting.
Is Hiesho unique to Japanese women? I can only say that Hiesho has definitely been a common trouble that has afflicted many Japanese women. Whenever I talk to my female Japanese friends, we usually have a shared feeling of “I struggle with bad HieSho. You, too? It’s not fun, isn’t?” during winter season.
According to MarkeZine, a web magazine specialized in marketing in Japan, Yoga, jogging and walking (ヨガ・ジョギング・ウォーキング) ranked No. 1 in the category of hobbies that Japanese women in their 20s to 40s are interested in trying. This is based on the survey conducted between Oct 5th to 7th, 2020 by Trenders, a company based in Tokyo focused on marketing business.
In this research, respondents were also asked about influence that covid-19 had on what they do for fun or hobbies. It indicated that women are more and more interested in hobbies they can enjoy inside their home (above 30%).
Last week, I talked to some of my Japanese friends who have toddlers or kids in elementary schools. They were all saying “I should exercise!” This is just one of the reflections of the Japanese society right now amid covid-19 crisis and trend towards yoga or exercising inside home among women in Japan.
In the video with which I used today to practice my interpretation, Angela talks about time you spend on deliberate practice. She suggests that world-class athletes would spend 4 hours per day at maximum, thus appropriate amount of time for kids to do deliberate practice would be a lot shorter.
Overall, quality matters first and then we can think about quantity.
This made me think about my interpretation practice – it has become sort of routine for me to do an interpretation practice, but am I doing it truly mindfully, appropriately and with a carefully-planned way?
In the middle of the talk at Google, Angela Duckworth touched upon “relationship between cultural identity and GRIT”, which was very insightful. She brought attention to Finland as a national example of showing that relationship.
She said that there is a word called “Sisu” in Finnish that generally translates to “GRIT” but literally means humans’ internal “gut”. When Finns work on something challenging but they fall short, they reach their “Sisu” and do it anyway.
This totally makes sense to me that if you are raised with that kind of mentality that is woven in your culture, you would be on your way to be gritter as you grow up.