Posts Tagged ‘耳かき’

The other day my friend Alexia asked me if I had a Japanese ear cleaner.
“What?  A Japanese ear cleaner?”
She says, “You know, the one made of bamboo.”
Oh, yes, the ear cleaner, the “mimi-kaki.”  Of course I have one.  Alexia’s ears are tickling, and she wants to poke it with the mimi-kaki.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things was to put my head on my grandmother’s lap while she went digging in my ears with one of those bamboo ear cleaners with a little fluffy thing on the other end that sweeps off the residues of ear wax.  Sometimes she would accidentally poke my ear canal, but it mostly felt ticklingly good.  I would be fascinated by the stuff she would excavate from my ear.  I think this ear cleaning ritual had some comforting effect for us Japanese.  Only a few years ago, I heard there were what they called “mimi-kaki cafes” sprouting up in Tokyo, where stressed businessmen go to get their ears cleaned by some yukata- (summer version of Kimono)-clad young women.  They claim, “Nothing more than ear cleaning!”  Ear cleaning for comfort . . .


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