Most likely you will agree with me that you do not expect to find anything truly Japanese cute at the dentist. Today during my visit to the dental hygenist, Koshima san was very proud to show me something especially cute: Traditional Japanese themed paper cups for rinsing your mouth. As you can see with the picture at the side, happy teeth are presented in a traditional Japanese environment.
There is actually a story shown on each cup. The blue one presents the historical event of black ships arrival (in Japanese “kurofune”); when the West was forcing Japan to open up to trade. On July 14 1853 the ships Mississippi, Plymouth, Saratoga and Susquehanna entered Uraga Harbor (part of present-day Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture) under the command of United States Commodore Matthew Perry.
Next the yellow cup presents a yearly Japanese festival (“matsuri”) organized by the local fire brigade. The main attraction are ladder stunts, when men dressed as firemen of the Edo Period perform acrobatic acts on top of bamboo ladders, which tower over the heads of the men supporting them. In the past a ladder was an indispensable fire-fighting tool. In these days the main method to prevent fire from spreading was to tear down the surrounding buildings. Not surprisingly firemen had to climb up with ladders onto roofs.
Finally the pink cup presents the Nagoya Castle (“Nagoya-jō”), which is now a restored Japanese castle. Originally it was built by Imagawa Ujichika around 1525, but later abandoned. Its fame started in 1610 with Tokugawa Ieyasu, who ordered various daimyo to help with the building of a new castle. This castle became the new capital of the existing Owari Province. Later during the Edo period Nagoya Castle was the center of one of the most important castle towns in Japan.
Have you checked what cups your dentist is using? Tell me about it.
Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)