• Tokyo


I would like to thank Grant Piper for his May 21 letter, “Symbolic cleanliness vs. hygiene,” which enlightened us on the unhealthy practices of the Japanese. My goodness! To think that most of these people actually bathe DAILY! And imagine this: They even remove their shoes before entering the home rather than tracking in dirt or dog poo. How foolish.

That’s not all. Many actually wash their hands and wear surgical masks to protect against aerosols that might contain germs — yes, we know that viruses can still penetrate. Since the “efficacy” of these activities is “moot,” I do hope that if Piper ever needs surgery he will tell his doctor to cut out all that nonsense about the mask and hand-washing. After all, it is just “symbolic” and a waste of time.

Since Piper seems to find facilities in Japan so filthy and unattractive, I am left to wonder about which sterile Utopia he came from and why he left there. In spite of all these “unhealthy” practices, isn’t it strange that the longevity of women in Japan is the greatest in the world and that of men is also very high. Certainly many things — including diet — account for this, but general hygiene is definitely a contributing factor.

name withheld by request

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.