Massagers to Die For

April 15, 2008 at 9:56 am 1 comment

Despite common notion, Japan is a high-stress society. Aside from universal worries about finances, health and finding a soul mate, Japanese people lose sleep over how people view them – individualism not being a good thing. They also worry about pleasing the higher-ups. If the boss wants a beer, you better get one for him. If he wants a girl to pour him the beer, you better find one of those, too.

The longer I lived in Japan the stiffer my shoulders became as I worked to conform to the societal norms, which are especially strict for women. What resulted was not only a disdain for coy women but an extensive collection of massage tools. It ranges from small wooden mallets (cost about $2 each) to a high-speed circular ultra-kneading lounger (costing about an arm and a leg).

One of the more unique massagers is a hand-held tool you plug into the wall:

As soon as the green tip heats up you press it onto your skin wherever you’re stiff. I like to knead it into my eyebrow ridges after a long day of Scrabulous. Be warned, the longer you leave it, the hotter it gets. Burn marks are possible. Though back in the old days when electricity wasn’t abundantly available they used to light a small fire over muscle aches. Thank god for advanced technology.

And then there’s my electric shocking device I bought at Yodobashi Camera, Japan’s version of Best Buy:

The battery operated remote is attached to two gel pads you stick on your skin. Turn on the device and you’ll feel tiny electric waves that either vibrate or pulsate through your muscles at whatever speed you wish. One word of caution: Don’t stick the pad over a bone. Electric waves passing through are as uncomfortable as biting on foil. Oh and never, stick the pad on your head. No amount of electric shock will make you forget your last bad relationship.

I have other devices in my collection that I’m reluctant to show anyone. They’re also fun to use, but believe me, the warning labels run even longer.


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Entry filed under: Japanese Beauty, Japanese Culture. Tags: , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. No Pain, No Gain? « Japanizmo Staff Blog  |  February 20, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    […] kept this ‘ashi-fumi ta-ke’ around for years among my odd collection of massage devices. It was far more economical than the others ($10 or so), yet had the most striking effect on my […]


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April 2008


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