Disappearing Japanese Tradition

Disapprearing Japanese Tradition

Recently, I have come across an interesting article about our tradition written by an American.

Let me tell you the outline of the article.

This is about the gorgeous pictures of public baths.

If you have been to a public bath, you know on the background, we have a big picture describing Mt. Fuji.

For most Japanese, this is nothing unique.

But for visitors to Japan, this is an interesting feature.

Here is a mania of these pictures.

He asked some public bath owners, and learned a lot about the history of public baths and their pictures.

According to him, this tradition started almost 100 years ago.

At that time, there were more than 2000 public baths in and around Tokyo.

One owner wished to attract more children, so he decided to draw a picture in his bath.

Then, it got success and as a result, the picture of Mt. Fuji spread all around Tokyo.

He told the writer that what’s most important when painting a picture in a bath is speed.

A painter has to start painting after the bath is closed and manage to finish it before the bath opens.

The painter has only a few hours to complete the painting.

The number of these professional painters is decreasing now, because we do not have many public baths.

In fact, today, there are only 600 public baths around Tokyo now.

He says we have to put our heads together and think about what we should do to maintain our tradition–a public bath with a wonderful picture of Mt. Fuji.