Sharing the tub, sharing the love.
Yes, in Japan parents and children bath together fully naked.
And that’s culturally perfectly normal.
From a Japanese perspective, together tub-time is good for family bonding. As children grow older, they’ll start enjoying bath time separately. But the habit of sharing the splash can go till junior high or even high school.
Japan has a long tradition of communal bathing with onsen and sento. You can still find gender-mixed onsen even today. The perspective is daunting for foreigners who do not have a background of bathing culture, but as soon as they take the leap, many realize how liberating the experience can be.
Family bathing can also be attributed to the way Japanese bathrooms are built. The bathroom “room” is what we could call a spacious self-contained wet room where you can sing under the showerhead and splash around pretending to be a shark to your heart’s content.
Next to the room where the tub actually is, you’ll find the changing room. This is the place where you get dressed, brush your teeth and keep your beauty and care products.
Eh, not quite
In a short comic strip, freelance journalist @TKTKfactory shared a funny bath time story thanks to his 3-year-old toddler—the kind that’ll probably come back to haunt his son at every family reunion forever.
— TK工房@学問しぃや、で検索 (@TKTKfactory) November 24, 2019
= A story about how I was surprised by my son after a bath
むすこ3歳が風呂上りおもむろにメジャーを取り出し= After his bath, my 3-year-old son slowly took out a measuring tape
ちんちん9cm = My willy is 9 centimeters (3.5 inches!)
ゴゴゴゴゴゴ = *ba bump ba bump ba bump*
息子よそれは9cmと言わん= My dear son, that’s not 9 centimeters
You surprised me! And other useful Japanese (ad)verbs
The Japanese language has a particular (and nameless) category, or group, of adverbs with a similar pattern: four hiragana and a repeated consonant, ending in り.
Like びっくり in the tweet above, a lot of these adverbs can be coupled with the verb する (to do). With びっくりする leading the way, here are a few expressions you should know for Japanese everyday life.
- びっくりする: to be surprised, amazed, frightened
- がっかりする: to be disappointed
- ゆっくりする: to take your time
- さっぱりする: to feel much better*
- すっかりする: to be refreshed
*Both さっぱりする and すっかりする can be used for the state you’re in after you get out of the bath as you feel both physically refreshed and mentally relaxed.
|風呂上がり||furo agari||after taking a bath, after one’s bath|
|ちんちん||chinchin||willy (childish word)|
|言わん||iwan||don’t say (Kansai dialect)|
|がっかりする||gakkari suru||to be disappointed|
|ゆっくりする||yukkuri suru||take one’s time|
|さっぱりする||sappari suru||feel much better|
|すっかりする||sukkari suru||to feel refreshed|
For more on learning Japanese
- Learn Japanese with our original study materials on GaijinPot Study
- Questions about studying Japanese in Japan? Take a look at the Japan 101 section on Higher Education and Studying Japanese
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