Masks And Sakura

It’s that time again… cherry blossom time! And that also means allergy time.

Allergies

Hay fever has been on the increase in Japan for a number of years. According to the internet, about 20% of the population currently suffers from it, but walking around Japan and talking to the people, it sure seems like a lot more. Sometimes it sees like just about everyone you meet is wearing a mask and complaining of allergies.

The problem is in the 50s and 60s, when hay fever was almost unheard of, Japan planted a lot of cryptomeria (sugi) and Japanese cypress trees (hinoki). It was known, from what I understand, that these trees produced a lot of allergy causing pollen once they matured, but it was thought the trees would be cut down and used long before that.

Well, turns out importing wood later became a much cheaper option so these trees stayed up, matured, and started producing more and more pollen every year, causing more and more people to get hay fever.

The best laid plans of mice and men, eh?

Daily Photo: Masks and Sakura

Cherry blossom time also means hay fever time. But even miserable allergies can’t keep most folks from enjoying the blossoms.

Masked Japanese women enjoying the cherry blossoms
Masked Japanese women enjoying the cherry blossoms

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