Book Reviews

Book Review: The Japanese Bath.

In the West and most other regions of the world a bath is a place to cleanse the body. Japanese think of a bath as a place to cleanse the soul, rejuvenate, and relax.

To the Japanese mind, the bath is meant for a community gathering, meet people, and be together with other humans.

If you are alone or live alone, you can contemplate, think about projects, plan your life, or regenerate vitality.

Japanese think of a bath as an important component of life and spend considerable time and effort to create their bath. No expense is spared, and all equipment and materials must be of good quality.

The location must be carefully chosen, preferably with a view to a valley, or mountain, or river, a landscape feature that can be relaxing.

The building materials must be carefully selected and the bath planned so that there is an antechamber to cleanse in preparation fort eh soak (bath) in warm water.

Japan receives famously sufficient precipitation not to create water shortages when so many people luxuriate in a lot of it.

Being frugal, Japanese families mostly soak together, and use the same water for all family members.

This lovingly written book explains the ritual of Japanese bathing, much like the tea ceremony.

Everything is prescribed, equipment for Japanese baths is specially designed, produced and carefully installed by experts. No short cuts or changes are ever made to the plan of the architect.

In this extremely well illustrated book the authors enthusiastically explain why this type of bathing is good for the body and soul.

They give examples of resorts in the USA that cater to people looking for such “deep” cleansing and rejuvenation.

At the end of the book two appendixes will help you to understand the culture, and where in the USA specialized companies can be found to make your dream of Japanese bath come true.

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