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Japanese Life & Culture

Tokyo's Public Bath for "School for the Naked" - Um?

By April 27, 2017 at 1:02 am
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Official Website(Photo : Official Website)

Yes, that's right  - a school for the naked at a public bath in the heart of Tokyo. The school offers a class once every month - 460 yen per class, no entrance exam. Lecturers and students come naked! It's a public bath called "Rising Sun" 10 minutes' walk from Ueno Station, Tokyo.

Tokyo was full of public baths in 1965s - 2600 all over the city. Now, there are only 600 - fast dropping in number. An idea cropped up one day in the mind of an actor, Yusuke Iseya, and a few supporters agreed with him to set up a project called "School for the Naked". A major PR agent Asatsu-DK Inc. was all for the project to turn a public bath a quarter for people to gather naked - a public bath to be a place for the new type of learning with classes on different subjects.

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In the center of the project is Mr. Yuichi Yamura, the owner of the public bath in question, age 36, who has appointed himself principal of the school. He was son and heir to an age-old public bath in Kamata, Tokyo.

Tamura met a 94-yrear-old elder a few years ago, who told him how it was way back in Ueno and how people used to make a lively community of each public bath to exchange goods and info as they pleased.

So, Tamura offered his place as a school last March. On the second class on April 22, some 20 students, 11 men and 9 women, came to attend a class featuring a Rakugo performer Kashime Tatekawa, who told naked a humorous story of the days in the Yedo Period. He gave two "lessons" - one in the morning for men and the other for women (footbath) in the afternoon.

Believe you me, a German father brought his son along to the class. He had had his pleasurable experiences at a public bath in Kyoto while a student there. Check it up on the Facebook for details - if you care, that is....(Nathan Shiga)

Source: NHK

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