Beyond Japan’s Umbrella Frenzy

Ever noticed some photos of the famous Shibuya with herds of people carrying umbrellas and crossing the famous intersection? Such photos are common, right? Those pictures themselves speak a thousand words on the Japanese culture with umbrellas.

No one can explain when the umbrella culture in Japan has started. But, most Japanese historians would say that umbrellas were introduced to Japan around 1336 – 1573 (Muromachi period). The creation of Wagasa (traditional umbrella) started during this period. The trend of carrying umbrellas during the period are for aristocrats only, as umbrellas are considered an item for the rich. Such a trend ended in 1603 – 1867 (Edo period), where using umbrellas were spread among commoners. Moving forward, umbrellas have been a part of the Japanese way of life. As a matter of fact, Japan snatched the highest number of umbrellas globally from a survey conducted last 2014.

Japanese use umbrellas not just for protection from rain, but also for protection from the heat of the sun. The most commonly used umbrellas are the transparent ones which have become a Japanese trademark. The reason why transparent umbrellas are so commonly used is because of its cheap price, availability and easy disposal. Some sources hypothesize that Japan’s humid climate is one of the reasons why the Japanese embrace umbrellas so much. Even in a light drizzle, Japanese use umbrellas to avoid having their clothes wet. In Japan’s humidity, wet clothes tend to dry longer, especially indoors. Thus, Japanese always have their umbrellas at bay to avoid getting wet. The umbrella culture also has boosted the morale of the Japanese’s punctuality. People could avoid being late into their schedules, as they can proceed without waiting for the rain to stop or looking for a place to take shade from the heat of the sun.

The Western type umbrellas are the types widely used in Japan. This type of umbrellas come in different colors, patterns, sizes and they are also available in manual and automatic kind. The Wagasa (traditional umbrella) on the other hand is no longer used in daily life. You can see Wagasa being used during pictorials as an ornament to showcase traditional crafts.

The rich culture of Japan has bedazzled millions of travelers from all over the world. Each looking for an exceptional experience in Japan. During the pandemic, the normal way of life has changed dramatically. We are now embracing the new normal in order to bring our lives back on track. Together with the entire world, here at KaguAruoo, we strive to be one at hand in pushing forward. As Japan is nearing the opening of its borders, the economy will soon thrive and the demands for fully furnished apartments will soar. To ensure physical distancing, KaguAruoo would like to introduce its user-friendly website for those who are planning to visit Japan.

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