Sunday, June 26, 2005

A cultural observation

It is interesting to so how a culture deals situations. In Japan it is the sunshine and the heat. As the march toward summer continues I have noted certain things. The sun umbrellas (aka parasols) are out, but only women use them. A sun umbrella is different from a rain umbrella. In Japan, beauty is seen in the whiteness of the skin, rather than the tanned ideal in North America. To that end parasols are employed to keep the sun off one's face. There are many other precautions to be taken as well. Make sure all your skin is covered (with either long sleeves or long gloves and long pants). It is best that everything is black so that it soaks up the sun rather than reflects those evil damaging rays toward a sensitive patch of exposed skin. The umbrella however can be white, so it can reflect those rays upward before they get anywhere near a person.
It is not manly to be carrying a parasol so no men ever do. However I have observed one or two using an umbrella to ward off the sun. I think the key is to use a rain umbrella, that way everyone can see that this is a one time occurrence and that you don't usually engage in such feminine acts of comfort.

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