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Pampering (Ear Cleaning)

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Celine
1272690.  Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:09 pm Reply with quote

Mimi Souji 耳掃除 or ear cleaning in Japanese, is seen as an act of love in Japan, usually done between lovers to each other or mothers to their children. As ears are considered to be one of the most vulnerable parts of the body, having another clean your ears connotes a sense of trust and intimacy.

However, ear cleaning is not simply performed with a cotton swab as common in Western culture but with a specific tool named Mimikaki which is a spoon-like stick that is used to grab the earwax rather than pushing in the earwax – a drawback of using cotton swabs. Some Mimikakis also have fluffy cotton puffs at the end as to aid pushing out earwax or to brush it aside. As conventional to Japanese culture, one can purchase a Hello Kitty themed Mimikaki, although perhaps more bizarre are optic camera Mimikakis that enable one to see inside their ear as they are cleaning.

Though the Mimikaki tool isn’t the only one that can be used, and some prefer to use more ancient methods of ear cleaning as used by the Aztecs, Chinese, and Egyptians. For example, some use an ear candle, which are made out of cotton dipped in soy wax or beeswax. The ear candle is placed in the ear and the top is lit aflame, warming and loosing the wax and creating a vacuum as to suck up the wax into the candle.



Ear wax, known as mimi aka (ear dirt) or mimi kuso (ear dung) in Japanese, actually comes in two different types, dry wax or wet wax, and the type of wax one is usually dependent on their ethnicity. For example, Caucasians and Africans are more likely to have ‘wet wax’, which is the amber, sticky wax, whilst East Asians are likely to have ‘dry wax’ which is grey and flaky in appearance. The type of wax one inherits is a matter of genes, in which the ‘wet wax’ gene is dominant.

Due to the intimate nature of ear cleaning, some individuals develop a fetish for the act and some parlours cater towards this by providing ear cleaning services performed by attractive members of the opposite sex who also make pleasant small talk and blow the clients ears clean at the end of the service. Although, one can also get a ‘normal’ ear cleaning treatment with tea and conversation for around $30.

As an extra to the ear cleaning treatment, it is also possible to have ‘ear fortune telling’ in which someone examines the shape and other characteristics of the ear, as to determine one’s personality and past, thus giving them indication of the future.

Sources:
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/02/15/cnngo.ear.cleaning.parlors/index.html
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2007/01/30/lifestyle/lend-an-ear-to-an-ancient-practice/#.WnHvFa5l_IU
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2010/04/15/reference/ear-rakes/#.WnH0D65l_IU
Image: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/Fp0AAOSwcnpTp9EP/s-l300.jpg

 
dr.bob
1272836.  Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:32 am Reply with quote

On the topic of ear cleaning, Scotland have announced they're going to bring in a ban on cotton buds made of plastic. Apparently, much like drinking straws, these small, disposable plastic items are an environmental disaster. Many producers of cotton buds can now make them out of biodegradable materials.

Then again, the expert advice is that you should never use cotton buds to clean your ears. Maybe that's the real solution to the problem.

 

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