Today I’d like to talk about 7 small Japanesehabits that will make your life so much better. It might be even more powerful than the last video I made, “8 small Japanese habits”. All of them are habits that can be easilyadapted into your lifestyle, so please watch this video until the end. 1. Visit the family grave You might think, “What? Why?” I know I know! But actually, in Japan, it’s said that visitingthe grave is a great habit that influences your life being successful.
According to Taigu Gensho, a Buddhist priest who has been involved with over 10,000 families for more than 35 years, “Families that prosper, and individuals considered successful, almost always value visiting graves.” Hmm, why is that? There are various reasons, but today I willshare the habits that I consider the most important among them. This is actually because by visiting the graves, you can become aware of the baton of life passed down from your ancestors. Your ancestors survived through numerous hardships, such as famines and wars that you can’t even imagine now. “I might die here, but I want you to keepliving.” In this way, they protected their childrenat the risk of their own lives, passing down the baton of life.
And that's why you are alive today. This baton of life carries their wishes, love,and dreams that were left unfulfilled. And visiting the graves is an excellent opportunity to remind yourself that you hold this baton. It seems that the famous film director, Takeshi Kitano, not only visits graves but also offers prayers at the Buddhist family shrine every morning and evening. At there, in front of the photographs of hisparents, grand-parents, mentors, and Director Akira Kurosawa, Takeshi Kitano offers prayers with sentiments like, “Mom, Director Kurosawa, if there's anything you couldn’t finish, I'll carry it on my life.” By engaging in such prayers at graves andBuddhist family shrines, it becomes possible to continue living along with their aspirations. This creates a power that goes beyond yourimagination, and as a result, it could be the secret to leading your life to success.
2. Picking up the trash (Cleaning public area) Shohei Ohtani, a super popular MLB playerin the United States, is known for casually Picking up the trash. Some might wonder why a superstar like him would bother with picking up the trash But actually, this is a small habit that manyJapanese people naturally practice, which can easily bring up some good luck. I bet you remember the story of Japanese football supporters picking up litter before leaving the stadium at the World Cup held a few years ago. Even if you pick up litter, you won't gainanything, not even a single yen. sometimes yes… if you are lucky.
But even so, Japanese people still engage in picking up the trash Why is that? I believe there are two main reasons:Firstly, it's because for Japanese people, it's considered natural and a matter of course. In Japanese schools, there's a daily habitof students cleaning classrooms, restrooms, hallways, and other areas. “Make it cleaner than when you used it.” That's something teachers used to say quiteoften. So starting from a young age, Japanese people cultivate the habit of “cleaning up after using a space.”.
Because of this, there's no resistance tocleaning or picking up litter. In other words, it's just considered a naturalpart of life. The second reason is 徳 Toku In fact, I find “徳 (toku)” very hard to translate in English. It might be translated as “virtue” or“good karma”. This is my understanding, but Japanese people subconsciously believe that by picking up litter, they are accumulating virtue or “good karuma.” That’s why, even if no one thanks them,they still engage in picking up the trash Now, someone might wonder how this leads togood things happening in the future.
Yes, strangely enough, that's what tends tohappen. For example, Munetsugu Tokuji, the founderof the most famous curry chain in Japan, CoCo Ichibanya, has stated that if a store experiencesa decline in sales of 2 to 3%, actively participating in picking up the trash in the store's neighborhood can help it recover within six months to a year. That means, Picking up the trash is not onlya remarkable habit that helps beautify the world and bring happiness to others, but it also eventually brings happiness to yourself. By the way, I do this habit every morningwhile walking. It’s really easy just going out and pickinggarbage. And it feels so good. So, let's start picking up the trash together!.
3. Stop eating when you are 80% full In Japan, there's an old saying, “Hara hachibunme ni isha irazu.”, which means, it'll be better for your health, if you stop eating when you're about 80% full instead of eating until you're completely full. But is this true? YES! It actually has the power to change your destiny too. There’s some interesting studies: Tokai University School of Medicine compared two groups of rats: one group was fed to only 80% of their normal intake,.
While the other was allowed to eat as much as they wanted. The result showed that the former group lived 1.6 times longer. In human research, Kanazawa University School of Medicine conducted an experiment where participants maintained a diet at 75% of their normal intake for several weeks. The result showed that the amount of enzymes produced by the “longevity gene” called “sirtuin gene” increased several times. From these studies, it's evident that eatinguntil 80% full is an important dietary habit for maintaining good health. And “changing the destiny,” that I mentionedearlier, let me explain why. Let's go back in time to the Edo period inJapan (about 420 years ago).
During that era, there was a person calledNanboku Mizuno, who was not only the country's most renowned physiognomist (a person who reads a person's fate and fortunes based on their appearance), but also a specialist in dietary moderation. He said: “Even those with unfortunate facial features, if they consume small meals they tend to have fortunate lives and do not die young. And their fortunes tend to improve particularly in their later years.” In fact, despite Nanboku's physiognomy indicating an unfavorable fate and a short life, he ate at 80% and lived until the age of 78.(During a time when the average lifespan in the Edo period was around 32 to 44 years.) Wow, isn’t it amazing how this eating habitcan change your destiny like this? But, I sometimes find myself overeating aswell.
So, let's make a conscious effort togetherto eat in moderation as much as possible, ok?❤️ 4. Thank you for the meal. “Gochiso sama” Like “itadakimasu,” I think this is a lineyou might have heard in anime. The meaning of “go-chisou-sama” is similarto “itadakimasu” in that it expresses gratitude to the person who prepared the meal. But actually, there's an even deeper meaning. I believe that even among Japanese people,less than 5% are aware of it. So today, especially for you, I’ll tell you what it is.
The other meaning of “go-chisou-sama” is… “To entrust one's life.” For example, when you eat vegetables, those vegetables have entrusted their lives to you. When you eat fish, the fish has entrustedits life to you. The kanji “走” in “go-chisou-sama” means”to run.” So by saying “go-chisou-sama,” you're tellingthe ingredients, “Thank you for entrusting me with your life. Now, I will make the most of my life, andin return, I will 'run' it on behalf of you.” By being conscious of this, you can feel gratitude for every meal and gain energy with each bite. Go-chisou-sama.
Feel free to use it in your daily life! 5. 言霊 The power of spoken words “The soul of language” is a literal translationof “言霊.(kotodama)” When you look up “言霊” in a dictionary,it's defined as: Mysterious power believed to reside in wordsin ancient Japan. The power to what you say makes happen. In simple terms, it means that words carryan invisible power. Have you heard of the IKEA experiment? It’s the experience with two identical plantsset up in a school, under the same conditions.
Of sunlight, water, and fertilizer. For one plant, they used some “kind and lovingwords,” while for the other, they subjected it to “negative words like insults.” They played the recorded positive and negativewords to each group of plants for 30 days. What do you think happened? Check this out. It almost looks like the plants have emotions, right? This is the power of spoken words, or “kotodama.” That's why many Japanese people have beenavoiding using negative words for a long time. Because when you use hurtful words, it notonly affects the opponents negatively but.
Also ends up affecting you, as you are alsohearing those words. So, using negative words also has a harmfuleffect on yourself. 6. Keep things on time I was surprised when I first traveled abroadon my own that trains didn't arrive on time. It has passed 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes… oh finally, it arrived! Whereas in Japan, the trains are famous fortheir punctuality.
That's why if a train is even a minute late,an apology announcement is made: “We apologize for the delay.” I’ve heard there was an incident where oneof the express trains departed 20 seconds earlier than the designated time, and they apologized for it. To be honest, sometimes I feel it's a bittoo much… haha. Well, it's undeniable that this is the Japanese sensibility. That's why I believe Japanese people tendto be quite respectful with their time, when it comes to meetings and deadlines. So, why do people try to keep on time so much? It's because it significantly affects buildingtrust and credibility.
For example, between someone who casually arrives late to a business meeting and someone who constantly arrives on time, Of course, it's the person who keeps time. right? It's truly just a small habit, but I believebeing punctual is the first step to being a trustworthy person. So, from now on, be sure to apologize, evenif you're 20 seconds late, ok? Just kidding! lol 7. Tidiness Lastly, this one. During a yoga bootcamp that I joined in Okinawa the other day, there was a moment when I thought, “It’s so Japanese.” My friend suddenly started to fold and tidiedup a blanket that was placed in the yoga studio.
You might say, “Folding a blanket is quitenormal,” but what impressed me was that she was refolding a blanket that was already neatly folded, into an even nicer form. When I saw that, I thought, “This person truly is Japanese.” and got so impressed. When you look at the city, the roads, andhomes, you can see that the habit of tidying up is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. So, why do Japanese people place such importance on tidiness? I believe it's because having an organizedenvironment and surroundings is simply pleasant and is more productive. Even Toyota, one of Japan's leading companies,emphasizes this sense of “tidiness.”.
This practice of tidiness is beneficial forthose seeking a simple life as well. Take a look around your room. Is your room well-organized? If your room is consistently tidy, it notonly improves your mood but also reduces stress as you save time searching for things. By the way, my room used to look like thisin the past. It was far from simple and quite stressful. But now it looks like this. Very minimalist, isn't it?.
It's kinda undeniable that organizing yourbelongings leads to a more comfortable daily life. So, I encourage you to try tidying up a bitevery day as well. Well, do you have any similar habits in yourcountry? If you wanna give it a try from the ones Iintroduced today, try starting it now. Your daily habits will shape your life. I'm not perfect either, but I'm trying toincorporate these small habits into my life little by little. Well, thank you always for watching my channel. Bye-Bye