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If you’re thinking about living in japan or even just visiting the wonderful and intriguing country, learning about the way they live is of primary importance. After all, different places have a different set of unspoken rules and cultures that define how people live their lives.
The Japanese people have been known to be some of the most hard-working, resilient, and disciplined people in the world. And if you ever visit a Japanese home, that shows in the way they keep their homes spotlessly clean.
This short read is aimed at answering why Japanese homes are kept so clean.
It is ingrained in them socially
The first thing you will notice when you go to Japan is that it is not just their homes that are orderly and clean. This extends even to their public places.
The Japanese as a society take care of keeping their hospitals, markets, neighborhoods, and other shared places clean, and this habit begins in their houses. The Japanese don’t clean their homes every time it gets messy, they clean their homes anyway. In fact, it isn’t surprising to see them involved in street cleaning to keep the areas around their homes clean.
They start young
Cleanliness is taught to the Japanese from a very young age. Starting from elementary school until they get through high school, practicing cleanliness is a part of everyday activities for Japanese children.
Starting from keeping the floors clean in their classrooms to maintaining common areas, children are responsible for the upkeep of their surroundings
This is something that has become so much a part of Japanese culture that even parents make sure the same discipline is continued when the kids come home.
Sure, there will always be kids that do not want to follow these rules, but the Japanese, being strict disciplinarians, are quick to reprimand kids who step out of line.
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No footwear indoors
Outdoor footwear is not allowed in Japanese homes. Most homes have an entryway where visitors and inhabitants alike are expected to remove their shoes and put them in specific closets or shelves.
Indoor slippers are allowed in most rooms, unless the room has floor mats, in which case, you will be expected to enter barefoot. Guests usually find a basket with indoor slippers to wear when they enter. Bathroom slippers are found outside bathrooms and must be left there after use.
This practice ensures that dirt and germs from the outdoors are not brought into the house, and this is very important. Here, in the USA, we sit and sleep on elevated platforms, such as sofas, tables, chairs, and beds.
The Japanese, however, sit closer and sleep closer to the ground, even on the ground, in some cases. It is no wonder that they like to keep their homes so clean.
Mold and mildew are a serious problem
Japan has a very hot and humid climate during the summer months, and this is perfect weather for mold and mildew growth. This has made the Japanese learn to keep their homes clean from times immemorial.
Preventing mold and mildew in Japan goes beyond the use of chemical cleaning products. They tend to leave the kitchen, toilet, and bathroom windows and doors open to make sure there’s enough natural light and ventilation.
Closet doors are also left open for the same reason, and on overcast days, the fan is run to make sure air circulation is sufficient. Some people even reduce room temperature by spraying water on the walls and wiping it down.
Cleanliness is a part of Japanese culture
In Japanese culture, it is considered disrespectful to invite a guest home unless the house is spotlessly clean. This even holds true for homes with small kids, and we all know how difficult keeping a clean home can be when you have children in the house.
One of the reasons they feel this strongly about cleanliness is because they believe visitors will judge them poorly if they don’t keep a clean home. Because of this, the Japanese will try to avoid letting people inside their homes if they haven’t cleaned up.
Another reason why cleanliness plays such an important role in the lives of the Japanese people is that almost half of them (46.8%) are practicing Buddhists. Buddhism preaches frugal, minimalist living, devoid of clutter and in clean surroundings.
As we live, we learn
Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian freedom fighter and proponent of peace, once famously said, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”
The implication of those words has more to do with daily living than with religion. The less clutter and dirt we have around us, the easier it is for us to stay healthy, focus, and live better.
All of our cultures have a lot of positives to teach us, and as global citizens, the more we learn from each other, the better our world will be. Japan is one of the cleanest countries in the world, who better learn how to keep our homes clean than the Japanese?