Sawako Obara

For Sawako Obara's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Martial arts tricks ease pain for new moms

Aug 28, 2014

Martial arts tricks ease pain for new moms

Wrist tendinitis and back pain are among the physical ailments that often affect new mothers, usually from the lifting and carrying required in caring for babies. To provide relief, a physical therapist in Japan has drawn up a parenting regimen that combines techniques from ...

Baby boomers becoming gray gang

May 27, 2014

Baby boomers becoming gray gang

As the last of Japan’s baby boomers turn 65 this year and retire, many are taking low-paid or voluntary work to get them out of the house — a trend that could have broad-reaching effects. The transition came later than expected as many workers ...

Senile seniors challenge Japan Inc.

Apr 10, 2014

Senile seniors challenge Japan Inc.

As businesses grapple with the social changes being brought about by the rapidly graying population, dealing with senility has become a fact of life at shops and banks. Supermarket operators and banks have been struggling to figure out how best to handle customers with ...

Japan's elderly reach for the joys of romance

Feb 12, 2014

Japan's elderly reach for the joys of romance

On her first date with her stoop-shouldered “prince,” Tae, a 77-year-old widow, felt her heart flutter in her chest as she gazed with him toward brightly lit Tokyo Tower. While this may just be a scene from a recent Japanese movie about a gray-haired ...

Elder care with a human touch

Nov 20, 2013

Elder care with a human touch

Humanitude, a caregiving method developed in France that emphasizes eye contact, touch and verbal communication to convey respect for the patient as a human being, is gaining attention in Japan for treating patients with dementia. Tokyo Medical Center in Meguro Ward, one of the ...

Babies comfort the elderly, and moms benefit as well

Sep 5, 2013

Babies comfort the elderly, and moms benefit as well

The moment the babies, cradled in their mothers’ arms, entered the room, a round of cheerful “oohs” and “aahs” gushed from the elderly whose faces until then had been expressionless. Some smiled and some opened their eyes wide as they looked at the babies. ...

Schools now teach boys about home skills

Sep 2, 2013

Schools now teach boys about home skills

For many young Japanese men, homemaking has become a necessary skill as they redefine their roles as husbands and fathers. More men in their 30s and younger are taking housework for granted since home economics classes became mandatory in junior and senior high school ...

Elderly homeowners and needy lodgers could be a perfect match

Jul 2, 2013

Elderly homeowners and needy lodgers could be a perfect match

The practice of young people becoming lodgers in the homes of elderly people is undergoing a revival, thanks to the rapid aging of the population. Sachio Yamamoto, 83, accepted Shusuke Kondo, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Fukui, as a boarder in his ...