|This is the kind of hankie I carried every time I left the |
house. I carried two: one for my hands and one for
One thing you notice is that all Japanese seem to carry some kind of bag. Sometimes it is a nice little shopping bag. Other times, for women, it's a tote bag or, for men, a black leather bag with a strap. Why? Well, if you've ever left your car at home and had to depend on public transportation, you will soon realize that it's more convenient if you carry certain things with you. (I think Americans who drive don't even realize how much "stuff" they carry around with them in their cars. They'd notice their stuff more if they had to carry it with them.)
In Japan, commuters, especially, like to have a book or newspaper with them to read on the train or during the lunch break. As in the United States, people also like to carry with them a personal music player of some kind, and I'm sure nowadays smart phones and tablets must be popular, as well.
|A woman in the crosswalk on a hot day. Notice|
that Japanese women also carry sun parasols.
|Japanese kids learn to carry hankies early in life.|
|If a married man doesn't have a|
clean hankie, you just know he
is married to a "bad wife."
|Japanese art handkerchiefs|
At the make-up counters in Japan I also noticed a product that I think may have been sold in the United States, as well, but which never really caught on among women: blotting papers. The special little papers were oil absorbent, which was a godsend in the summer to avoid a shine. Some of them were coated lightly with face powder. You would have to press the paper slightly into your skin to get the oil absorbed.
|Ladies doing "the Nose Ceremony"|
I liked using the blotting paper, too, and kept some with me when I came back. I think I may have found them once in all the time I've been back, but they just aren't that popular here. I used the Papier Poudré, brand, which is actually made in the UK. Blotting papers came out in the early 1900s when powder compacts were not readily available. I have no idea why they caught on so well in Japan, except for the fact that a lot of Japanese young women seem to have very oily skin. :-)