Souji (cleaning)

Cleanliness plans a huge role in Japan — from not wearing shoes indoors to the insanely clean streets.

While in America we’re used to farming that work out to janitors and cleaning ladies (and then treating them like they are invisible), in Japan school children will do all of their own cleaning, on a daily basis. I was blown away when I saw my students crawling around on their hands and knees, cleaning floors and bathrooms. Imagine the uproar and the angry parents if that happened in the US.

We wake up at 6 everyday and clean half of the house. At first this drove me crazy — why should I have to?! — but a few days in I’m starting to ease into it. Importantly, it also makes you think twice before you make a mess in the first place.

The basic cleaning procedure includes vacuuming the floor, mopping the floor with a very slightly wet mop and shaking out pillows and blankets used in the kotatsu.

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