Japanese firms wage war on 'smell harassment'


The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2016 AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Bought darned time, each of those described is something I can not stand being next to on the train.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's the smell of unwashed hair in the mornings on packed trains that used to bother me. But also heavy perfume does feel most like harassment, since it is conscious effort to slather it on.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The worst one in my place of work is stinky cigarette stench on clothes and emanating from mouth. I've learned from bitter experience to keep a safe distance and direction when conversing, lest I receive a blast of ashtray breath.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

But also heavy perfume does feel most like harassment

Heavy cologne as well. I really don't like these strong artificial smells.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Yes!!! Finally but...

"Better understanding the mechanism behind and nature of those smells should lead to increased tolerance," said Mandom’s Miyuu Sato

Nope. At work about 85% of the male co-workers leave at lunch and come back with a nasty cigarettes smell that's impossible to stand. Even after they leave, that nasty smell lingers in the hair for a few hours. It's extremely unconsiderate to us non-smokers. To make things worse, some even top it with coffe. Disgusting. So shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't they be the ones that learn to not to tolerate but RESPECT those aorund?

Other co-workers are in desperate need of deodorant but they refuse to use any. Even when they know they sweat a lot and you can tell when they're around they would still refuse. And refusing for skin allergic reactions, that I personally understand. But refusing on the grounds that "it is a natural smell"? They might scream for tolerance but I scream for personal hygiene.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The worst is that acidic smell when some people sweat - the type that you'd expect to encounter in Eastern Europe. One time, I was sitting at a food court when I was overcome by that very smell. I looked over at the table next to mine and sitting there was the source of the acid - someone who had just come and sat down after a jog. The person was...a Japanese female.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The worst for me is bad breath from colleagues. Especially Japanese men over 50, their breath is generally horrific

16 ( +16 / -0 )

A person can shower everyday before work but when it is 85 degrees out with 90% humidity it does not take long to feel like you need another shower. I can tolerate those individuals that do what they is the other guy that smells like he has not showered in a couple of days that makes me gag. When I can tell that you have been in a room 5 minutes after you left....something is wrong.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

"Amid concerns that poor hygiene could hit sales".

Yep definitely. Not only sales but also productivity, staff retention etc. Perso i think management and HR should pay more attention to 'poor hygien' in the workplace as it can really affect ppl.

B.o = olfactive bullying. Not nice indeed!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The guy across the corridor from me has horrendously bad breath. I wonder if these people ever brush their teeth.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How about smelly feet ????!!!! I never understand the removing of shoes in the office.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They need to have separate elevators for smokers. There's nothing worse than coming up in the same box as some noxious creep who's just had a smoke break.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Not to mention removing shoes on the train and putting smelly feet on the seat opposite.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You folks think its BAD now, when I first washed up here it was still ok to smoke in the office, man that was beyond nasty, I used to have to duck out into the stair wells to get some "fresh air", thank goodness in office smoking is pretty much a thing of the past!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

What makes me really wanna gag are those salarymen on the trains who smell of a combination of last night's alcohol, sweat, ramen, and the morning cigarette they smoked just before getting on the train. Ugh..

about 40 employees from mobile giant SoftBank recently attended a session on what causes body odor and how to avoid it.

Oh that's easy. Just do what we do: shower in the morning instead of at night. The average person sweats about 3 pints a night. In the japanese summer, I'm estimating its closer to a damn keg. To just get up and about in the morn without a shower is just plain disgusting.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Arid XX has been the best deodorant ever for me. It has no odor, and unlike other deodorants that seem to have a quality of adding to the problem, it just works perfectly. It's in the blue stick. Ya know. Maybe I should get a stick for my feet...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Take a shower before ya go to work

1 ( +1 / -0 )

introduce toothpaste and brushing tutorials

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Strangely though, deodorants and antiperspirants are not so popular in Japan, contrary to the West where it is almost unthinkable for a woman to go anywhere without spraying herself.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Finally, a topic on which the braintrust can agree...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cheap perfume on women and guys whose clothes reek of stale cigarette smoke. Combine them in an elevator or other enclosed space and it's enough to make me physically sick.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

morning showers!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Take a shower before they leave out for work or school!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Arrid XX, this is by far the best stick deoderant out there, just an opinion not an endorcement, though if they want to send me a case for free I won't object. BO, not even in the height of summer! The other smells can be reduced, too. Heavy drinking the night before with some guys results in horribly smelly sweat! Yuk!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"But the anti-odor firm is also clear on where to draw the line: bullying smelly colleagues into a shower is not the answer."

So what if ANYTHING anyone says or does is perceived as bullying and harassment? All of this -hara crap is just trying to make personal opinion into a collective and socially acceptable method of bullying, and nothing more. Sorry, but you canNOT force a person to wear a black suit all day running around trying to make sales in 37 degree weather and 9-% humidity and then say they are harassing you with their smell at the end of the day before leaving the office. Want to end smelly and 'offensive' odors on the trains in the morning? fine -- ban enkais, and ban smoking, and ban all foods including natto and any kind of fish or products with miso paste. But THAT is never going to happen, is it? Going to ban scented shampoos and soaps? Nope. Cologne and perfume? Nope.

Sorry... I do my absolute utmost not to smell, be it cologne, bad breath, body odour, or anything else, but there are times when it just cannot be helped, and you cannot avoid the smell emanating to others, especially in the torrid summer heat. The bottom line is, unless a person is intentionally stinking up the room, train, and just your personal space, anyone unwilling to accept that sometimes as animals you just smell is harassing others. So, perhaps "hara-hara" should be next in line in the long and ridiculous litany of what people call 'harassment'.

Matt: "Arrid XX, this is by far the best stick deoderant out there, just an opinion not an endorcement, though if they want to send me a case for free I won't object"

So long as it's deodorant and not anti-perspirant, I think good hygiene plus the odd rub with a bar of the stuff will suffice, regardless of brand. But if you sweat (why you should NEVER wear anti-perspirant!) and continue to wear the same clothes for any period of time you're going to start stinking at some point, deodorant or not.

Seriously... hearing about all this BS harassment IS harassment!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is there a dictionary for all the harassments? This insanity had been going for long enough to become a part of sub-culture for mentally challenged.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The worst one in my place of work is stinky cigarette stench on clothes and emanating from mouth. I've learned from bitter experience to keep a safe distance and direction when conversing, lest I receive a blast of ashtray breath.

...and even if you DID bring it up with the offender, they won't know what you're talking about because their olifactory sense has shut down any registration of tobacco product smells. If you live in the stench 24/7, you soon stop smelling it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is the grease the salarymen put in their hair that sets off my asthma. That is disgusting. I cannot bare to walk past a so called Barber Shop. What is that stuff they soak the guys hair with?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not only do they need showers before school or work, they need tutorials on body deodorant and what is best for your body. I couldn't agree more with all the other comments about smoke, BO, perfume, and especially the teeth! They stand there with a dry toothbrush scrubbing for at least 20 minutes without a drop of toothpaste or water.

And to add to this, the kids at school smell really bad, too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is stick deodorant even sold in this country? And no mention of the moldy, musty smelling clothes. I visit some homes of friends for a couple hours and leave with that stink on me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

so often we think it's the other guy who smells when it could be ourselves. that's because after about five minutes your personal odors stabilize and you no longer notice them. unfortunately they're still there

I change my undershirt at least once at my workplace. flossing and tongue brushing help minimize mouth orders I hope

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites