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Prime Minister Noda and Barber [2011年10月21日(Fri)]

The Sweet Smell of Showa Era


Prime Minister Noda and Barber


It was common in many men to part his hair either to the left or to the right in the ratio of 7:3. Of course, there were also coiffeur such as the long “all back” type of the desperado kind of men, that reached to the shoulders or a very unique “barcode” style of the former prime minister Nakasone who was decorated with the Grand Order of the Chrysanthemum.

Why do men suffer so much from the thinning of hair to the extent that they all rush to buy hair tonics and hair transplants, I do understand that it is all part of well-gloomed men to have nice coiffeur. Hair transplant is like to tree planting. Every hair is “planted” in an orderly way like a tree and that in some people it is very obvious.

Baldness, I agree, might be a major problem, but it seems that it is an unnecessary worry. I have asked many women as to what they thought about being bald or not and have confirmed that it is not the most important condition for love. All the women speak in one voice that kind heart will make up for their physical appearance; they can be bald, fat and short. I tell you my fellow gentlemen, your worries are idle worries.

Times have changed. The traditional 7:3 hairstyle of a decade ago is no longer in the top priority. There are many young men who frequent beauty parlors and have very unique hairstyles. The only thing I ask is that the cleanliness and neatness never be forgotten.

More than 10 years ago, there was a high class barber called “Yonekura” in the basement of a 5 star hotel which catered to prime ministers and business men at a price of \10,000. I am not criticizing that people pay \10,000 for a haircut. A trip to a barber for a man is a get-away or a diversion, and for some a relaxation. One of my best friends actually starts the week by going to the barber every Monday morning.

It is said that Prime Minister Noda’s favorite is a \1000-for-10-mimute-barber where he gets just a simple haircut. But this does not mean that he is unpretentious and is close to the common man. It is only a matter of taste.

I dislike going to a barber. It is a worst of all the ordeals to have to sit in the seat. Therefore it has always been my wife who took care of my hair cut, but I have lost an extreme amount of hair with advance in age, and I have been ordered from her that I must go to a barber as it has become too difficult technically to cut my hair.

Our neighborhood barber was blessed (??) at one time with my 4 sons and the 5 sons of my elder brother, but these once boys have grown up into adults have each moved away from home and the neighborhood. The barber himself is getting old and operated his shop with his elderly wife and his son, but today it is only the son that is in charge of the customers. I have been there hoping to get a haircut, but there is always customers waiting for their turn, so I end up returning home in vain.

So I have no other alternative, but to beg my wife to once again be my barber.
“Your hair has thinned so much, dear” she says with a tone of slight contempt and readily starts to cut my hair.
“Why do you think I’m losing hair so much faster than my age? It’s due to you and the boys,” is almost ready to come out in retaliation, but I endure the humiliation silently and patiently.
“I’m done! I just chopped off a bit too much in some parts, but nobody would notice anyway!!”
I have successfully endured the “10-minute-barbar” spiced with malicious words.

Yet my wife was right.
There is absolutely no reaction to my haircut.
Or it could be that people have noticed, but are just giggling away.
It is of no concern. What is important is the blessing and the happiness of having lived to this day.
Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 09:00 | URL | comment(0)
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