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Hay Fever

36 Comments

People shop for hay fever prevention items at Tokyu Hands store in Tokyo's Shibuya. The store has set up a corner with about 150 items for hay fever prevention, such as masks, goggles and nose cleansing kits. The goods will be on sale through March 31.

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It looks like airsoft protection.

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if you have ever been on a japanese train/subway, you should wear this stuff 365 days a year

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Terminator 5: Rise of the Sneeze

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I think these people need to find a new place to live. Japan is pretty cool, but if I had to suffer like many do to live here, I would relocate fast.

I heard the hay fever situation is also better in Hokkaido, but it depends on the pollen that ails you.

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Hmm, looks like paint ball gear

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Only in Japan. It reminds me of the old photo of the woman wearing the helmet with the roll of toilet paper attached to it. Must have been back in the 1980s, however, I assume that that invention was also for Hay Fever.

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sorry..If I see those goggles,I am going to laugh my head off. Those visors the obahan wear are funny enough.

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Great marketing strategy.

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I always thought that these masks make people look scary, like carrying a contaminating disease. I think masks should be banned because they make criminals escape from police easily. If a person is so ill that he might spread the disease, he should stay at home or at hospital.

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It is understandable that allergic people having terrible pollen/hay fever need the prevention or whatever if symptom such as runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezy, coughing, etc is relieved.

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If you are not allergic, then consider yourself among the luckiest! It´s a nightmare, you want to scratch your eyes off, your nose either is inoperable or dripping, your body is constantly in a mild fever. The worst part is to wake up in the middle of the night breathless. So, these masks above they are terribly ugly, but they are a great relief too.

I have found the holy grail of hay fever: nose strips, like Breath Right. Man, if you are allergic, try them!

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cedar pollen is everywhere in japan and since at least 20% of the population are allergic (and increasing every year) to it relocating is not an option.

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I think masks should be banned because they make criminals escape from police easily. If a person is so ill that he might spread the disease, he should stay at home or at hospital.

hahahahahaha, clueless

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shouganaika: relocating is not an option.

Maybe not for the entire population of hay fever suffers, but it is still AN option for individuals.

I am also surprised these people have not banded together to cut down all those cedar trees and replace them with something else. I would think they could form a major player of an interest group if they can hear anything at meetings what with all the sneezes.

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Hmm, looks like paint ball gear

i'll second that. that was my first thought. it's a good thing i actually read others' comments before posting my own ... ha ha ha.

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Unfortunately, Japanese cedar trees are rather quick growing. As such, it makes sense as a timber resource to keep planting them.

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relocate to where? overseas? cedar trees cover a significant percentage of the country, and regrow quickly .Cutting them down is impossible though sleazebag Ishihara made a similar pledge in his manifesto for election.

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To cut down all cedar trees that allergic people want to hope is maybe best way but there are billions of cedar trees all over Japan. A biggest problem is who pays billions of yen for cutting them down and who transports them out of there and who buys them with higher price.

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LoveUSA -- nice sentiment, but no one in Japan will take s sick day -- too scared of their bucho. Particularly with the ecomomy in the dumper. If anything, this will get even worse. I counted on the subway the other night, and just in my immediate section of the car, 8 people had on masks. 8 out of no more than 20. My advise -- commute early as much as possible to avoid the germs.

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20% of the population? the it is a huge market and I don't think the companies making profit would be willing to see it change.

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i used to suffer from awful hayfever when i was a kid; summer was basically nothing but pure pain for most of my school days, with zero sympathy from anyone around me. now, having grown up and grown out of the allergy it feels me with an evil satisfaction to see adults suffering for the first time...

more on topic, i feel the long term solution is exposure, like it or not. teach that immune system not to over-react. but mask and goggles feed the economy, eh

on another topic; tokyu hands is a fantastic shop

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shouganaika: relocate to where? overseas?

Hokkaido. Did I say Hokkaido before? I think I did. In case I didn't, how about Hokkaido? By the way, maybe Hokkaido? If not, consider Hokkaido. But then again, there is always Hokkaido.

Here is some more information on the sugi problem.

http://www.american.edu/TED/japcedar.htm

kwatt: To cut down all cedar trees that allergic people want to hope is maybe best way but there are billions of cedar trees all over Japan.

It need not be all. The problem is not the the sugi exist but that they were seriously and deliberately over-planted and never cut down for their intended use.

Japan currently imports a LOT of wood. Probably all that needs to be done is to start a program to cut down those sugi trees a little at a time and make sure they are replaced with a variety of other trees. The wood will be bought along with all the other wood Japan consumes.

Naturally, the people selling the pictured products as well as allergy medicine will be against such a plan.

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yeah, 1/4 of the population move to Hokkaido. nice plan. and Hokkaido DOES have cedar kafunsho

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I'd like to point out it is not only the Jp cedar trees causing these health issues. The Asian dust cloud that extends from the Gobi desert every year between Febrary and April is much more harmful and causes many more ailments. I'm sure a large percentage of what is deemed a reaction to the Jp red cedar is from the carcinogens and other pollutants in this dust.

About these masks: They are an effective deterrant for dust particles, however, a lot of the irritations caused by the dust and pollen do not effect the mouth and lungs. The eyes, ears and skin are also effected by the pollen and unless you are washing your hands every five minutes it is virtually a token gesture. Furthermore, the masks have very little, if any effect on viruses. I read a report on the effectiveness of these masks and to be effective against viruses they must be 12ply surgical masks and changed every twenty minutes. As soon as the mask becomes damp it actually creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. There is also the argument of becoming hyper-sensitive to cold and flu viruses by not letting your body have the chance to build up a resistance to them. In the good old days, if one kid got sick they would put all the kids into bed together to make them all sick. This is not madness. It is a very effective way of building immune systems.

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I could be wrong, but I often get the inmpression that the locals actually LIKE wearing the masks and stuff. Certainly a number of my J-friends agree that it seems ridiculous/pointless as protection against illness/allergy or whatever. Add in googles/hats/sprays and our hypochondriac host bation will go into overdrive on this.

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Some people wear masks year around without allergy, maybe they like it. But if you have pollen allergy or hay fever, mask is not perfect but will soften your symptom of allergy. However you can not do this in foreign country, maybe police arrest you.

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and Hokkaido DOES have cedar kafunsho

It's mostly shirakaba up here, Shouganaika. Nice handle, by the way. Good point by Disillusioned, too. Not so great a handle tho.

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What a picture.. I can't wait to see people dressed up in police riot gear to protect themselves from friggin pollen. Are people really going to do that? Please JT post the pictures.

jonnyboy, I love that store, too, although the customer service at the store at Takashima Times Square reminds me more of an American store (sullen, disinterested and completely unhelpful)

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shouganaika: yeah, 1/4 of the population move to Hokkaido. nice plan.

What part of "option for individuals" did you not understand? Are gonna aske me "where?" again to ensure this keeps going in circles?

and Hokkaido DOES have cedar kafunsho

Its not what I heard.

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I still don't get why they don't just cut down the offending cedar/cypress trees and in their place, plant some cherry blossom trees or pumpkins or something.

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Disillusioned: There is also the argument of becoming hyper-sensitive to cold and flu viruses by not letting your body have the chance to build up a resistance to them.

Which of course would be the exact opposite of saying the masks have no effect on viruses, which you said in the same paragraph.

Given those two polar opposites, I guess its also safe to say that masks might be extremely beneficial.

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I still don't get why they don't just cut down the offending cedar/cypress trees and in their place, plant some cherry blossom trees or pumpkins or something.

The article I provided suggests that the owners of said trees see themselves as preserving a resource and/or waiting until Japan really needs them or they can profit most from cutting them down.

This is such a situation where I support the government stepping and getting the things cut. I would make all owners of such trees cut something like at least 5 percent of them every year (or more if they choose), and do that for ten years. Temples and shrines and orgs owning historic trees etc. would be exempt of course. Getting rid of some hinoki could not hurt either. The allergy situation in Japan is just to severe to have a lassez-faire attitude about.

But like I say, the companies that make the crap in the picture would be trying to block such a plan.

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I also remember seeing posters up in the stations with ishihara, one fist in the air, pledging to conquer hay fever.

Another untrammelled victory from the master of Shinginkyo Tokyo. Well worth his salary (and 80% of depositors' cash).

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my hairdresser used to tell me one day I would suffer from hay fever, as she was disappointed to hear me say I was quite immune to it. I'm glad to tell the day is yet to come but I pity the sufferers...a little :*]

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the option for individuals to move eh? basically another lame 'love it or leave' it answer.

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There is also the argument of becoming hyper-sensitive to cold and flu viruses by not letting your body have the chance to build up a resistance to them.

small point, perhaps, but allergies are caused by OVER-reactions of the immune system, hence the watering eyes/nose & sneezing. exposure still makes sense, however, the body just needs to adapt to its surroundings and tone down its reactions

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