Mikie Watanabe

Cultural Adaptation

Community Writer

Spring has arrived and soon cherry blossoms, or sakura, will begin to bloom. Unfortunately with the arrival of spring also comes the start of allergy season. Many people with allergies experience symptoms such as itchy eyes, runny noses, and sneezing. The most common causes of these symptoms in Japan seem to be from the pollen of sugi (Japanese cedar) and hinoki (Cypress tree) as well as a particular micro chemical particle found in the air called PM 2.5. Unfortunately this means that you may be combating your allergies during ohanami (sakura viewing).

How do you prevent these allergy symptoms? The most important thing is not to breathe in any pollen. You may see many people in Japan wearing a mask, that’s because they know how awful the effects of allergy symptoms are once they appear, so they prepare themselves. Nonetheless, people still suffer from allergies. Why? The pollen in the air can stick onto your hair, clothes, shoes and other items. When we come home from outside, we are sure to bring pollen inside our houses with us. To avoid this, make sure to clear and brush away any dust or pollen on your hair and clothes before you come in the house. You can also get electronic air cleaners to help remove pollen from the rooms in your house.

If we can resist allergies, we won’t have to worry about them, and the way to do this is by boosting your immune system. One way to boost your immune system is by eating yogurt. People have had the idea that “yogurt is a healthy food” from old days. This is because yogurt includes a lactic acid bacterium which increases good bacteria and exterminates bad bacteria. Lately, studies have said yogurt is effective against allergies because it improves the internal environment of your body which makes you stronger against pollen-based allergies. Yogurt has been an attractive remedy for allergies because it is an important factor in improving the intestinal flora of your body.

Why don’t you learn more about yogurt? The Cultural Adaptation Program will take you to a Yogurt Factory in Hiroshima on April 21. Sign-ups begin March 21 at the Library. This factory was the first to sell Yogurt in Japan starting in 1917. They will give samples of their products, so you can try them all and see which yogurt flavor you like.

Cultural Adaptation | 253-6165