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Japan’s Government Wants Men to Use Parasols

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Are you manly enough to use a parasol?

Japan’s infamously hot and humid summers can be pretty brutal. In fact, in 2018 high summer temperatures resulted a new record with almost 100,000 people being taken to the hospital due to heatstroke. With figures like this it’s no surprise that Japan’s government is looking into ways of protecting its citizens from the high temperatures of the country’s summers. One of the latest ways in which it is trying to do this is targeted specifically at men and involves something that many would consider to be feminine: the parasol.

This new campaign, which is being handled by Japan’s Environment Ministry, is intended to promote usage of parasols among men in Japan. The ministry will be producing and distributing informational materials to Japanese department stores nationwide.

The Environment Ministry is hoping to change the perception that parasols are only for women by in part touting the many benefits of parasol usage in these materials.

According to joint research by the ministry and Nippon Industries of Technology, subjects using parasols instead of just hats perspired about 17% less. Further, the research also noted that stress caused by heat could be reduced by up to around 20% when parasol usage is combined with removing one’s jacket or other item of outerwear.

The campaign is also encouraging children to give parasols to their fathers this Father’s Day, which falls on June 16 this year.

Although this is the first campaign of this kind, the ministry had previously teamed up with local municipalities in order to allow men to try out using parasols for free at special events. However, this effort appears to not have been very successful due to notions that using a parasol is something feminine.

In a report by TV Asahi, an employee at a Japanese department store explained that men tend to prefer parasols with extra features such as a button that can be used to both close and open the parasol with just one push.

The report also showed a small number of men who had already become parasol converts. While one explained that he used a parasol to avoid the sun, another man specifically mentioned that his use of a parasol had to do with his concern over developing sunspots.

With the relentless heat of Japan’s summers showing no signs of going away, it certainly looks like this is as good a time as any for parasols to become a new must-have item for Japan’s legions of salarymen.

Source: ANN News, Jiji Pres, TV Asahi
Image: 男性にも「日傘」浸透中!うだる暑さ前に機能性重視(19/05/24) (ANN News)

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