Australia’s current drought may be the worst in 800 years according to a recent paper published by the University of Melbourne.
With water restrictions in place for most Australian states, there’s never been a better time to fine-tune the way we use and appreciate our water.
Even if you’re not living in a water restricted area, using water mindfully and with gratitude can only bring good things.
While Japanese culture has many gifts for the rest of the world, the Japanese Way of bathing is out of this world.
As well as being a next-level spiritual experience, it’s incredibly respectful of water and minimises any waste.
The main reason for this is that the Japanese wash before they enter a bath.
If you want to deeply offend a Japanese person, jump straight into their bath and proceed to lather yourself with soap (ie take a bath like you normally would!)* Not suggested
By washing before entering the bath, a single bath-tub of water can serve an entire family.
And because there’s no soap, once it cools down you can repurpose that water in your garden.
The Japanese bathing ritual has four steps.
Although non-Japanese people tend to shower and don’t take baths as frequently as our Japanese friends, it’s still possible to apply some of these water saving strategies to your daily shower routine.
For example, you could:
Japanese bathing quotes:
“I feel unsurpassed happiness…. I have overcome impatience, nervousness, haste. I enjoy every single second of these simple moments I spend. Happiness, I think, is a simple everyday miracle, like water, and we are not aware of it.” From Japan, China (1963), Nikos Kazantzakis in his journal after his first experience with a Japanese bath (author of Zorba the Greek and other twentieth-century classics)
“There is a school of thought that half-seriously explains the very small number of psychiatrists in Japan as the result of the Japanese bath” From Bonsai to Levis (1984), George Fields
“[Hot springs are] the closest thing the normally stoic Japanese have to socially sanctioned hedonism” From Getting Wet: Adventures in the Japanese Bath (2006), Eric Talmadge
Photo courtesy The Japanese Bath, by Bruce Smith and Yoshiko Yamamoto (Gibbs Smith, 2001)