The Japanese lifestyle is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. But do you know why? And what makes Japanese people’s life expectancy so high? This issue of JapanUp! focuses on several aspects of Japanese health, from diets to health equipment. We hope you can benefit from a healthy Japanese lifestyle.
Lessons in Longevity from Japan
Japan is widely known as one of the most long-lived countries. According to the 2021 article published by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Japanese life expectancy is 87.74 years for women and 81.64 years for men.
A Japanese woman, Kanae Tanaka, who passed away this year at the age of 119, survived two world wars. Guinness World Records certified her as the world’s oldest person at the age of 116 years. Moreover, the 107 years old Japanese Umeno Sumiyama and Koume Kodama received Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living identical twins.
Why do Japanese people have the highest life expectancy in the world? There are probably several reasons that lead Japanese people to live longer, such as vaccination programs, health care, genetics, and diet. However, examining the history of Japan provides us with a better understanding of why the Japanese have longer life spans.
You may have heard of the term “Blue Zones.” Blue Zones are the regions of the world where people there tend to live longer than average. According to American National Geographic Fellow and New York Times bestselling The Blue Zones author Dan Buettner, as of the year 2000, there are five Blue Zones in the world, and one of them is Okinawa, Japan. The traditional diet of Okinawa includes low amounts of fat and salt, and high amounts of fruits, vegetables, and beans, such as tofu and miso. In addition, murasaki-imo or purple sweet potatoes, which contain high amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, magnesium, antioxidants, and fiber, were a staple food for Okinawans. This root vegetable is used to make up 67% of the Okinawan diet. Goya bitter melon is another staple food in Okinawa, which is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Also, many Okinawans used to grow their own garden which contributed to their daily physical activity.
Practicing Hara Hachibun-me (腹八分目) can be another reason for Okinawan longevity. Hara Hachibun-me is a term meaning “eating until 80% full”. This practice reduces calorie intake and puts less stress on the digestive process. This expression derives from the intent of not being greedy.
Moreover, 1,200 years of Japanese history included a pescatarian lifestyle because the emperor prohibited his subjects from eating meat, specifically from the Tenmu emperor (675 CE) to the Meiji emperor (1875 CE). As a result, tofu, miso, whole grains, and vegetables became staples of the Japanese diet.
Religion was the main reason for this prohibition. Japan’s dominant religion Buddhism, believes in reincarnation, and people can be reincarnated as other people or as animals. Therefore, harming animals meant possibly harming reincarnated ancestors. The emperors also banned the consumption of meat to protect animals from agricultural development, because raising livestock was too labor-intensive, and it would ultimately compete with other more important foods such as rice.
With the rise of Zen Buddhism from China, vegetable-based cuisine shojin ryori spread in 13th century Japan. The main ingredients of the shojin ryori are soy foods, daikon radish, eggplant, mushrooms, and kabocha. In addition, the traditional shojin ryori requires different preparations such as baking, boiled, fried, roasting, steaming, and stewing. Also, it requires the use of five primary colors such as red, green, white, black, and yellow, and the use of five different flavors including sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and savory. These shojin ryori concepts influence the well-balanced traditional Japanese meal even today.
However, Japanese diets, including those found in Okinawa, have changed drastically due to the modernization of food products such as processed foods and animal products. We see many Japanese fast-food restaurants and convenience stores that use additives and preservatives in their products. In fact, within 20 years of the original Blue Zone studies, Okinawan life expectancy significantly dropped from No.1 to No.7 for women and No. 36 for men.
But now, it is time to improve our lifestyles and apply a more traditional Japanese approach to our modern diets.
Hiro Igarashi and RICE: Redefining Healthy Japanese Cuisine for 10 Years.
Japanese-owned sushi restaurant RICE, located in Manhattan Beach, celebrates their tenth anniversary this year. RICE owner Hiro Igarashi acquired a knack for restaurant management while working at several Japanese restaurants, including the well-regarded Katsuya. For almost 10 years, RICE has been providing Japanese cuisine focusing on natural and organic vegetables and seafood.
Just a stone’s throw away from the heartbeat of downtown Manhattan Beach, RICE can be found on the quiet 9th Street at Manhattan Avenue. Before you step into this cozy restaurant, don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the amazing ocean view and the radiant California sunset. Outdoor seating is available, with two small tables in front of the restaurant as well as several others in a quaint courtyard where one can relax with the ocean breeze on warmer days.
Hearing the traditional Japanese customary greeting “Irasshaimase” and Jazz music, and seeing lots of sake bottles and a little bar counter, you would not expect anything different from a usual Japanese sushi restaurant.
But when you start moving your gaze to the blackboard-lined walls filled with hand-drawn art, you will notice something unique about this restaurant. Aside from the daily specials, guests are introduced to the restaurant’s core values: High-quality seafood; every day is earth day; Natural and Organic gluten-free healthy foods as well as no chemical preservatives, no artificial color, and no chemical seasonings; vegan friendly.
Dining at RICE gives you the opportunity to enjoy food with the comfort of knowing that your meal has been carefully prepared with your health in mind.
What really grabs customers’ attention is the blend of sushi rice. When you bite into RICE’s sushi, you will immediately notice the absence of acidity. Instead of the regular sugar and vinegar sushi rice, RICE uses organic brown rice and sweet brown rice without any seasoning. Even without the use of vinegar, the sweet brown rice helps the rice stick together. The brown rice is whole grain and rich in fiber. Also, the low glycemic index of brown rice reduces blood glucose levels. Extending this healthy concept, the restaurant serves sushi with gluten-free soy sauce. Even the to-go soy sauce is labeled gluten-free. Igarashi says that “most of the customers are skeptical about using brown rice, but they always leave the restaurant satisfied.”
Today’s special Farmers Market would be the most simple dish of the day including fresh and sweet raw carrots, corn, radish, and asparagus with Miso paste dip. This miso is made using homemade koji and tastes smooth, not salty, but light. Koji is a type of Japanese fermentation starter and brings food richer and deeper flavors. Vegetable dishes at other restaurants can often be too simple, but the RICE will provide you with an oishii vegetable experience.
You do not want to miss the gluten-free as well as vegan-friendly desserts at RICE. Their matcha cake gorgeously layered with green tea sponge, red bean mousse, and matcha mousse is gluten-free and vegan. The mousse melts smoothly in your mouth and the cake is pleasantly moist. Above all, even if you do not like the taste of coconut, you will fall in love with this cake.
With Igarashi’s marketing skills and a health-conscious menu, RICE has attracted many customers including local, gluten-free, health-conscious people, vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians. Igarashi comments that we do not have to make big changes to our diet to be healthier. Instead, simply acquiring a little knowledge about food additives or preservatives may help us bring more awareness of what we should and should not eat.
So let’s eat healthy at RICE today!
820 Manhattan Ave. #105 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Healthy Luxury Japanese Cuisine Redefined at Shojin
On the third floor of the Little Tokyo Market Place, not far from Downtown Los Angeles, the Japanese vegan restaurant Shojin has been providing authentic Japanese healthy food for 15 years. No artificial ingredients, no white and brown sugar, and no table salt.
Shojin’s owner has been involved in many restaurant businesses, but many restaurants seem to prioritize making profits by buying cheap ingredients. They often ignore the customers’ health and happiness, even though food service is a dominant segment of the Hospitality industry.
Shojin is one of the few only ones in LA that understands what hospitality really means in the food industry and pursues the customer’s happiness and health through their unique cuisine and customer services.
To provide healthy food, their executive chefs have been creating original menus according to the customers’ needs. Because each dish is made originally from scratch, Shojin is able to adjust the menu to each customer, such as onion-free, garlic-free, soy-free, and sesame-free.
In fact, when Shojin initially opened, the menus were not gluten-free. About 10 years ago, to meet the customer’s needs Shojin started a gluten-free menu with the opening of their Culver city location.
Today, Shojin uses a variety of vegetables: lotus roots, pumpkin, asparagus, and different kinds of mushrooms including enoki, shiitake, and maitake to create rich flavors. Shojin’s creativity is different from other vegan restaurants. For instance, they have created Aburi “WAGYU” Nigiri out of eggplant and they sear it at the table! They created “Eel” out of tofu, which is used in their Dragon Roll. The Dragon roll has a smoky flavor and is accented with sansho pepper. So don’t forget to try it when you visit there.
Exceptional service highlights the exceptional food. All the servers wear black suits as if they were working at an expensive Japanese department store. To show respect to clients, they crouch down to take orders. Nodding, they communicate to each customer with big smiles and make sure whether they have any allergies or not. They explain each dish carefully in detail. They welcome you as a family there.
We eat without really thinking every day. But what we are eating actually makes our body. It is possible to create health from our body inside. A bad skin condition is a red signal from our internal body. If you have stress, you cannot be truly happy.
It is important to select ingredients that make our bodies feel happy. The idea of only satisfying our stomachs is over. Let the new standard of a restaurant be whether a restaurant can lead customers to health or not.
In the 22nd century, we can find and buy things we want easily online. We can buy a car. We can buy jewelry that we dreamed of. We can stay at a 5-star hotel. We can travel. We can eat at a nice restaurant. There are so many things that we can do. Then what is a luxury to you?
Shojin hopes all customers will experience “the real luxury dining”.
So find your luxury meal at Shojin.
Shojin organic&natural | https://www.theshojin.com
[ Culver City ] (310) 390-0033 | 12406 Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90066
[ Downtown LA ] (213) 617-0305 | 333 S. Alameda St. #310 Los Angeles, CA 90013
//////////////////////// ZEROMEN ////////////////////////
ZEROMEN | Healthy Delicious Enjoy Eating without Feeling Guilty
Zeromen is not only a sugar-free noodle but is also gluten-free, dairy-free, fat-free, and very low in carbohydrates, making it fit any dietary restrictions. It has been widely recognized by people with healthy lifestyles in the US Today!
It is made without wheat flour, contains Okara (a byproduct of tofu), and is only 35 calories. This is a perfect noodle for people with diabetes, celiac disease, and any type of weight loss diet, especially the keto diet. Consuming Zeromen is another way of living a healthy lifestyle, and a great alternative to regular pasta without feeling guilty!
Zeromen are very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes and sauces. Just open the pouch and rise for a few seconds, and they are ready to eat. Check out the website for Zeromen recipes!
Kibun Foods USA, Inc.
- 35 Calories Only!
- Sugar Free
- Cholesterol Free
//////////////////////// CHUKA WAKAME ////////////////////////
CHUKA WAKAME | Healthy Mineral-Rich Side Dish
J-Basket seaweed salad goes very well with your daily meal, great for an appetizer or as a side dish. The small cup is for 1-2 servings, and the large cup is for 2-4 servings.
Wakame seaweed is full of minerals, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium and contains beta carotene and folate. J-Basket Chuka Wakame is seasoned, so it is delicious as is. It has a unique crunchy texture. It pairs well with sushi, sashimi, green salad, tofu, and more.
It’s ready to serve, making it easy for everyone to enjoy a healthy meal. All you need to do is to defrost seaweed at room temperature.
JFC International Inc.
- Ready To Eat
- Healthy Food
//////////////////////// JAPANESE TEA ////////////////////////
JAPANESE TEA | Tea Drinking Habit can Protect Your Healthy Body
Tea was first used for its medicinal properties. In the 13th century, the buddhist monk Eisai stressed the beneficial effects of tea in his book and said “Tea is a miraculous medicine for the maintenance of health. Tea has an extraordinary power to prolong life.” The fact is tea contains a number of substances that have been proven to be beneficial to our health.
Tea catechins are antioxidant, antibacterial, lowers blood cholesterol, and inhibits increases of blood sugar. Especially after pandemic, many people reconsider daily tea drinking habit.
Den’s Tea carries various kinds of tea leaves, matcha powdered green tea, organic selections, and more. You can protect your healthy body by drinking green tea. There is no better time to drink Japanese green tea than now!
Phone 877-DENSTEA (336-7832)
- Immune System
//////////////////////// WALKING EXERCISE ////////////////////////
WALKING EXERCISE | Too Much Sitting Might Be the Cause of Deconditioning
“How many hours do you sit still in a day?” A research institute in Australia has announced that sitting still for an hour takes 22 minutes off a life expectancy, while WHO (World Health Organization) announced sitting still might induce cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. It even causes death for 2 million people worldwide annually. The blood flow speed would decrease by 70% in 30 minutes of sitting still.
Walking would be one of the solutions for physical deconditioning for it can improve blood flow well. However, some people are lazy, some are lacking time, or some might be in a situation where they are not able to walk.
Ziggru Stair Steppers makes it possible to do walking exercise by putting your feet on it while watching TV or doing desk work. Once you start the exercise, it will continuously move without you trying it. The exercise will slowly relieve the foot stiffness and promote blood circulation. With the stepper, 1000 times of walking exercises are possible in only 5 minutes. It’s created by Japanese craftsmen using great condition cedars, which are about 100 years old. A total of over 15,000 units have been sold (as of January 2022).
The stepper not only fits elderlies with poor athletic ability, but also those who need rehabilitation, those who are doing desk work, those who have trouble exercising, and any other lifestyle.
//////////////////////// CARBONATED SPRING GENERATOR ////////////////////////
CARBONATED SPRING GENERATOR | Spa Treatment Effect
with Carbonated Spring
Since ancient times, carbonated springs have been popular as a traditional medical treatment for many people. Carbonated springs have numerous therapeutic benefits.
High-concentration carbonic acid dilates blood vessels and activates the flow of blood flow, thereby transmitting a lot of heat and warming the body. By making the blood alkaline, it reduces lactic acid in the blood and reduces joint pain and muscle pain. By activating the activity of capillaries, it relieves stiff shoulders and back pain and also relieves pain such as rheumatism and neuralgia. Moreover, carbonated water improves blood circulation, delivering nutrients to cells throughout the body, revitalizing cells, and bringing out vitality from within.
Not just for humans, it also makes your hairy paw friends healthy and reduces stress. The amazing cleansing power makes it easy to remove the waste products stuck in the back of the hair root, reduce the risk of skin diseases, and improve the symptoms.
ReVIERA cube is a high-concentration carbonated spring generator. It can be installed on any type of bath. Your daily bath time becomes the best self-care. Upgrade your home bath to a therapeutic spa-quality bath system. It is available for rent in California!
Tansan Spa Systems
//////////////////////// MASSAGE CHAIR ////////////////////////
MASSAGE CHAIR | High-Tech and Reliable Massage Chairs
It has been 40 years since U.S. Jaclean, Inc. began importing massage chairs into the U.S. from Japan. At first, the chair was a simple, functional massage chair with a wheel-shaped roller that moved up and down, and side to side. As time went by, new technologies and the more detailed concepts of shiatsu therapists have been added by conducting research from the perspective of medical science.
U.S. Jaclean’s Chairs
Daiwa Massage Chair incorporates the concept of health improvement through shiatsu therapy and fuses that with the latest technology in health equipment.
Zero Gravity chairs, which have become mainstream recently, refer to the posture of Nasa astronauts as they fly into space, in which the angle of the body is least affected by gravity.
There are two main types of massage chairs: S-type and L-type. The machine works well with the back that is slightly curved in the shape of the letter S, which is called the S-type. On the other hand, the L-type massages from the shoulders to the buttocks.
The Daiwa Supreme Hybrid incorporates the functions of both the S- and L-types by placing these rollers in two separate locations, one on the back and the other on the buttocks.
//////////////////////// WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM ////////////////////////
WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM | Personal Weight Loss Program A Revolution in a Healthy Lifestyle
RIZAP is a results-driven weight loss studio originally from Japan, now available in Santa Monica. Guided by top-class trainers and endorsed by US medical and nutritional experts, this program combines in-studio strength training, meal planning, and coaching tailored for each individual. Over 170,000 people around the world found success through this program. A personal trainer will create an exercise program, advise nutrition skills, and support you mentally just for you. He, she, or they will always be beside you and motivate you.
Jason has lost 50.9 lbs* and got his diabetes medications reduced in the 6-month program. He decided to join RIZAP because of his diabetes. Besides the 3 medications he was on for diabetes, he was also on medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol. His doctor reduced all of those medications after RIZAP. This is not just a program to get fit, but great support for your healthy well-being.
Learn more about Jason’s story and make your first free consultation ▶︎FREE Consultation
- Free Consultation
- Personal Training
- Meal Planning
- Mental Coaching
- 30-day Money Back Guarantee
1617 Broadway, Suite C
Santa Monica, CA 90404
//////////////////////// SHIATSU MASSAGE ////////////////////////
SHIATSU MASSAGE | No More Pain Killer An Emergency Go-To Place in Little Tokyo
SHIATSU TOKYO has been accepting patients suffering from physical disorders and curing them by performing the Japanese Shiatsu massages. SHIATSU TOKYO is an emergency GO-TO place for the local people. The therapists are able to tell what illness the patients have just by gently applying pressure on the body and heal the body.
SHIATSU can remove your muscle pain. By stimulating the acupuncture points on the whole body with hands and fingers, it enhances the natural healing power of the human body to the point it relieves the symptoms. Unlike rhythmical and dynamic techniques such as “rubbing” and “tapping” that are used in other massage methods, “Shiatsu” uses a static technique to focus on “one-point pressure.”
From the physical disorders in daily life to the maintenance of health and preventing illnesses, SHIATSU TOKYO is the place you might want to visit frequently.
- Cash Only
- Giving Medical Treatment
- Highly Rated in Yelp
- Focus on the Spot to Heal
Phone (213) 625-8900
110 Judge John Aiso St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
June 2022 vol. 176