In Japan, the arrival of spring signifies the hay fever season which usually begins in late February and lasts until early May.
Hay fever called âKafunshoâ in Japanese is a type of allergic reaction to pollen mainly
from Japanese cedar trees resulting from the post war reforestation program.
The symptoms could be sneezing, running/blocked nose, itchy eyes and so on .
So many people are wearing masks in town, in the trains and even indoors creating strange
and unusual sight to tourists from abroad. Behind this is
that anti-hay fever masks are wide-spread among all people affected by hay fever,
accounting for about 40% of Japanese population.
A large number of products are available to help get through this unpleasant period.
But wearing an anti-hay fever mask is recommended as it is cheaper and more effective to block unwanted particles.
The mask is disposable and made of non-woven fabric.
Soon after it appeared in the early 2000s,
more and more Japanese people started to wear a mask in order to protect themselves from pollen.
Until that time, most masks had been made of cotton and worn by people who had already got sick..
Recently some people, especially the younger generation are using the mask for purpose unrelated to health concerns as below:
Granted, the disposable and inexpensive mask helps the Japanese people mentally and physically.
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Nihongo Instructor Club
Japanese language school
Azabu Juban Tokyo