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To wrap up, five glimpses into how things have changed in Japan in the age of the coronavirus:

  • Kids are apparently seeing their parents working from home and thinking, “I wouldn’t mind doing that.” Company worker is now the dream job of the largest share of children in Japan, a survey shows, beating out traditional winners like soccer player or food shop worker. Perhaps someone should warn these kids that they might eventually have to commute to an office as part of the deal.
  • While many Japanese workers aren’t pining for a return to the office, some are missing their beloved stationery, writes Kaori Shoji in Japan Pulse. Recognizing this need, businesses have responded with “free address stationery” in the form of handy briefcases neatly packed with goodies.
Zen priest Soo Iwayama launched a meditation service called Flying Monk that is available online. | COURTESY OF SOO IWAYAMA
Zen priest Soo Iwayama launched a meditation service called Flying Monk that is available online. | COURTESY OF SOO IWAYAMA
  • In Japan, where there are more temples and shrines than convenience stores, the stay-home trend is putting Buddhist and Shinto institutions that rely on donations under strain, forcing them to experiment with new ways of meeting believers’ spiritual and emotional needs, writes Alex K.T. Martin.
  • The stay-home trend has been good for one thing, at least: getting some shut-eye. The average daily sleeping time in 14 countries, including Japan, increased nearly 10 minutes in 2020 from the previous year, as people spent more time at home instead of staying out late, a recent study shows.
  • Sales of personal toothpaste products have eclipsed those targeting families for the first time in Japan. This appears to back up reports that certain family members have become reluctant to share toothpaste with others amid the pandemic, writes Shoji. Despite all the brushing, dentists fear they will see a rise in dental problems once patients start venturing back to clinics.

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