What is like "Japanese Cleanliness"? - Waku Waku

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What is like "Japanese Cleanliness"?

When I am asked what the most impressive is in Japan, its amazing "cleanliness" comes up to my mind first. Do you know how and why it is?

Zhaniya Toktassynova

Zhaniya Toktassynova

Published on 17 May, 12:00

In Japan, it is believed that cleanliness is a good habit in general: starting from children who are required to cleanse their schools to the ritual of washing the Shinkansen. Everything is soaked with this idea.

And a foreigner who comes to the country, looking at this, very soon begins to think about what is behind all this scraping, washing, and rubbing?

Cleaning - a daily code of conduct

Children sit in the class, with briefcases on their desks, seemingly ready to jump out of their seats and run home after a long day at school. But instead, they have to listen to the teacher carefully, who talks about plans for tomorrow.

And finally - the traditional closing announcement: "So, today's cleaning procedure: the first and second rows are cleaning the classroom. The third and fourth clean the corridor and the stairs. The fifth row goes for toilets".

You can hear the groans of those sitting in the fifth row, but everyone gets up, grabs the mops, rags, and buckets from the closet in the back of the classroom, and they are carried away in all directions, including the toilets.

This happens in almost Japanese schools. The answer is simple: the citizens of this country keep it clean in such a manner. All 12 years at school, from almost elementary grades to senior, cleaning is included in the daily class schedule.

When students come to school, they leave their outdoor shoes in lockers and change into clean shoes. At home, people leave their street shoes at the entrance to the apartment. Repairment who come to fix something, take off their shoes, and walk around the apartment in socks.

Perfectionism in everything
Perfectionism in everything

You also must have noticed how clean the cars are in Japan. This, of course, is not only due to the fact that they are washed but rather due to the fact that the roads are clean, even in bad weather, so cars simply do not get contaminated.

By the way, those very white seats and white gloves in a taxi were other things that surprised me in Japan, when I arrived there for the first time.

Residents of private houses and office buildings themselves keep the surroundings clean. Why do you need janitors and cleaning staff when you have your own people responsible for their living/working environment?

Every morning you will meet people sweeping around their homes or workplaces who are ordinary salespeople, office workers, nurses, etc.

As for household waste, you throw it yourself into a specially designated container. It is suggested that on recyclable days, you deliberately sort your trash.

And to make sure you do it, neighbors take turns watching you. You didn't separate newspapers from magazines and dumping everything in one heap? You didn't rinse the tomato can? You will have to carry them back.

One of the average trash bins
One of the average trash bins

Cleanup volunteering

Volunteer organizations help maintain cleanliness and order. These nonprofits are chasing trash at an unprecedented level. An organization called Greenbird, which is found in many prefectures in Japan, invites residents to regularly clean areas in cities.

They don't pick up empty beer or soda bottles (cause apparently people do not through them normally), but tiny pieces of paper and cigarette butts. The idea is to collect this before the garbage becomes visible to the eye.

In addition to this organization, there are many other private organizations in Japan that also collect garbage near rivers, in parks and other public places.

Streets with not a single garbage
Streets with not a single garbage

So why it happens?

I believe, one of the reasons is the religious explanation. Japanese traditional religion is Shintoism and it has a nature-based mentality, that each person has his own beginning from nature, so each one has to keep it clean and safe.

So, why not starting with ourselves and make a contribution to the next generations?

Shinto shrine ablution spot as a sign of cleanliness
Shinto shrine ablution spot as a sign of cleanliness

In conclusion, I admire the Japanese for such an approach towards surrounding. Hopefully, the same mentality will be picked up by other countries and people around, to make ourselves in the first place to live clean and with respect to others, keep the nature, the landscape of the Earth in a way it was given to us from the beginning of civilizations.

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Zhaniya Toktassynova

Zhaniya Toktassynova

I am from beautiful country called Kazakhstan I am married and we have an adorable child who was born in Japan, Tokyo My specialty is Tourism Management, that is why I love to share all my experiences of cultures and traveling destinations,and I’m happy to share with my current experience in Japan

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