Japan is a country comprised of around 6,900 islands, and 73% of the country is mountainous. But the biggest and mostly populated islands are the ones known as Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu. The latter ones make up 97% of the country, with a total population of 127 million. The inhabitants of these islands live mainly by the coastline and because of that these areas are densely populated.
In the beginning of the formation of Japanese culture, China made a great influence introducing Buddhism in the 6th century, but during the Edo era, the Japanese introduced a strict isolationist policy. This meant closed doors to all relationships with the outside world thus being able to cultivate a distinct Japanese culture which is widely recognized all over the world. Yet, in 1868 this era ended and the Japanese nation adopted cultural practices from all over the world. In Japan there are two main religions: Shinto, a Japanese religion, and Buddhism, introduced from China.
Every culture in the world is unique, but the Japanese outstands with its specific lifestyle choices that make the people in this country with the highest life expectancy on the planet. Not to mention the fact that Japanese women are remarkably youthful, healthy, and very slim.
Japanese do their best in order to make their country a better and more efficient living place. They are all committed to having a better lifestyle based on good health and manners. Good manners are something that they value at most and they show it with their greetings; with bowing they show respect, for instance a small nod of the head is a casual and informal greeting, on the other hand deep bend at the waist shows appreciation and respect.
In the western world and in the other parts of the world, shaking hands is a common form of greeting, but in Japan it is not a custom at all.
Japanese are gift givers and they hand out gifts on many occasions, but a set of four is never given as the number “four” is pronounced the same as the word of “death”.
In the past the food was exclusively served on low traditional tables with people sitting on pillows, but nowadays you can find restaurants that have Western-style tables and chairs and as well as the traditional ones. The meals are consumed with the popular chopsticks, and in the end of the meal tips are not offered, just a simple expression “gochisosama deshita” (“thank you for the meal”).
The Japanese culture is a great enigma for many people and widely appreciated for its divinity, traditions, rituals, holidays, celebrations, etc. Hence, in this article, we shall present you closely this astonishing culture with its manners that offer long life and prolonged youth.
20 Japanese Principles for Beauty and Long Life
- Consuming meals on the go is one big “No”
Having your meals on the go is impolite as time for eating is sacred in Japan. This is the time when the body is being refueled and energized and because of that one should always sit down and focus on the consumed food.
- Home cooking
Home cooking offers meals that are really low in unsaturated fats, carbohydrates, or other food ingredients thereby preventing many health concerns. The Japanese diet is rich in vitamins, minerals, and in whole, unprocessed food ingredients.
- Healthy cooking methods
The Japanese cuisine is based on four main cooking methods: agemono resembling deep-frying but with healthier batter such as tempura, then mushimono, representing the steaming process; nimono, meaning boiling; and yakimono, which is a kind of broiling.
- Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are rich in beneficial enzymes, vitamin C, vitamin A, B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics, which are valuable components for optimal health and well-being. They can help in the treatment of diabetes, ulcerative colitis, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, cognitive function, and even mental illnesses.
Therefore, Japanese people consume plenty of sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, tempeh, pickles, miso soup, kefir and kombucha.
This plant is really rich in valuable components like protein, fiber, and also in minerals including phosphorus, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and sodium, vitamins like A, C, and B, but low in calories and saturated fats. Due to its remarkable nutrient content it can facilitate better digestion, prevent the occurrence of certain cancer types, improve the health of the gut, and also controls the body weight.
Wasabi is regularly included into meals and traditional recipes like sushi and sashimi.
Probably the most beneficial food for the body is the seafood which the Japanese have in abundance. Seafood is packed with valuable protein, nutrients, minerals, and vitamins such as B and D. It contains the healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but low in saturated fats. Thanks to this content it reduces the risk of developing a cardiovascular event, including heart attack stroke, and arrhythmia. Plus, it soothes the pain as a result of arthritis, then treats depression, lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration, and promotes healthy brain growth in babies and children.
The Japanese cuisine is high in seafood and various kinds of fish, octopus, squid, eel, and shellfish. These seafood ingredients are being added into curry, sushi, salad, and tempura.
- Green Tea
Green tea is high in nutrients and antioxidants which makes one of the healthiest beverages on Earth. The Japanese drink it a lot thus protecting their bodies from bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, improper digestion, weight gain, inflammation, improper body temperature, heart and mental diseases.
- Smaller Portions
All the portions are small but with valuable content, namely a common meal has in its menu staple foods such as rice or noodles, then a protein source including fish, chicken, pork or beef, and for a side dish there could be pickled veggies and miso soup.
Descriptively, the protein dish has the size of a palm. The veggies are served in a fist-sized portion and the salads in two fist-sized portion.
- Healthy Desserts
The dessert we all know is based on plenty of sugar, but the Japanese desserts are consumed for cleansing the palate after a taken meal providing the needed freshness. Contrary to our desserts, they are low in sugar, and based on fruits, rice, and sweet beans. The most common consumed desserts are pumpkin pie, squash, mocha, fruit sandwiches, and green tea meringue cookies.
This basic movement is a Buddhist ritual that Japanese people practice it a lot thus protecting their environment. The benefits of walking are numerous like reduction of cholesterol and high blood pressure, better heart and lung fitness, low risk of heart disease and stroke, treatment of diabetes, and alleviating muscle and joint pain.
The Japanese word “ikigai” is a combination of two words, “iki”, meaning life and “gai”, meaning worth. It symbolizes a self-fulfillment and happiness that come from within thus offering joy in life.
When they have obstacles in life they do not give up easily but are very hopeful in eliminating them. They appreciate the things that make them happy and value them a lot, which bring happiness in their lives. This awareness makes them youthful with long life span.
- Skincare routines
Japanese women are known for their flawless complexion, and youthful skin appearance. Their skin is always beautiful thanks to their regular skincare routines where hygiene comes at first place. Their skin pores are always clean, and regular facial massages with natural oils enhance their beauty.
They highly appreciate the Nature that surrounds which is really amazing. Japanese children are taught to live in harmony with nature and show respect towards it. Stress is being relieved by taking nature trips that help them to soothe the mind.
- Physical activity
All Japanese follow some physical activity which is one of the reasons for their longevity. They avoid long sitting hours and if their job requires it they jog, walk, cycle, go to the gym, and even run marathons.
- Martial Arts
They have been present in Japan since 23 B.C., which represent a practice and spiritual behavior. Martial arts were practiced by samurai warriors as a result of weapon shortage. There are many styles like karate, sumo, aikido, and laido, which fortify the whole body involving each body muscle thus improvising strength, endurance, stamina and flexibility. They are not only a physical activity but as well as a behavioral one teaching morals, values, and focus, that for sure will boost the mood of the person that practices one.
- Onsen – Hot Spring Baths
These baths are very popular in Japan and for the right reason as they offer good body relaxation, skin care, pain relief, lower stress, better blood circulation and many more. They are taken in hot springs known for their content of minerals thus enjoying so many benefits.
- Productivity at work
Japanese are known as hard-working people as Japan highly appreciates and values hard work. The employers appreciate it a lot by rewarding their most productive employees. Plus, they have high salaries, and the people feel like they’re investing effort that pays off. Thanks to which the economy and industry in Japan are getting better every day.
- Good social life
Although Japanese are hard-working people with busy schedules they do not live in solitude. They like to spend plenty of time with their friends and often go out and as a result of that there isn’t a person that suffers from dementia or age-related mental diseases.
- Stress management
Stress is the number one cause for many diseases like heart diseases, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Japanese women successfully manage stress by involving in community events, going on excursions and shopping.
- 20. A universal healthcare system
The health of the citizens in Japan comes first. Every Japanese has a healthcare that is completely covered by the state. The government provides free healthcare, and the people in Japan go for regular checkups and thus control their health condition.
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