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I have been working on this project for over 2 years, much longer than expected. Who knew that a 58 page booklet on taking a bath can take this long to put together? However, am so happy with the results that I can’t wait to share with you all and rushed the launch to end of 2017 instead of 2018. It’s really a Christmas present to myself! Hahaha……
As you all know, am not a doctor nor a specialist in baths and bathing. Why I wrote and illustrated this book is to share with others, who have yet to discover the wonderful benefits of taking a bath, especially wa style. Wa 和 when used in combination form it means “Japanese” style, method, or way. Yet when used by itself, wa 和 can mean peace, friendship and harmony.
I grew up in the modern Western society that often takes fast, quick, and efficient over anything else. Having relocated to Tokyo in 2010 and later experiencing chronic body pain for an extended period of time, I was told to start taking baths every day by my Japanese friends and doctors. I did enjoy the occasional trip to the traditional onsen 温泉 (hot spring), but as a person who showered all the time, the option seemed not worth the trouble. However, I eventually gave in during one very cold winter and I have not looked back ever since. I have not been fully cured, but taking baths have helped me with my condition so that I can start off my day refreshed, and look forward to what is in store for me.
Because bathing has a long history in Japan, there are lots of information, customs, trends, what mom had said, and personal preferences, most of them are in Japanese. I have collected what I have known, heard, read, experienced and presented it here in a no-frill format along with my approach to this daily ritual, and hope you too can enjoy the wonders of wa style baths!
I haven’t done this much research since university and let alone 90% of it was in Japanese. Yet creating this was one of the most amazing journeys that I have experienced, from the research to writing and illustrating, from all the technological aspects to the personal ones. I mean, I even met in person one of the authors whose work I highly admired, and now have become friends with! I’ll do a separate post on that later, because it deserves one. I started this project in Tokyo and completed it in Vancouver–a heartfelt nod to both cities that I call home.
Thank you to all the wonderful people around me, and the others, who I have crossed and will cross paths with. Without you, nothing would be possible, yes, nothing!