Embodying Japan: Cultures of Sport, Beauty, and Medicine 2017

Healthy Citizens = Healthy Nation

In the first page: Uchi vs Soto, I mentioned that “By separating spaces between clean inside and dirty outside world, Japanese bodies are rescued from the danger of contagion and feel relieved by being in safe space that allows the most privacy than any other spaces. Therefore, creating barriers between bodies was desirable to the nation because it prevents people from getting infected due to unwanted contacts with human feces.” This makes sense to keep Japanese bodies to clean and safe, but why? It is impossible to not to ask this question. Why hygiene is such an important thing? The answer is simple: health. Healthy citizens are always desirable to the nation because it equals to healthy labor and nation. Maintaining good hygiene is a marker that the nation made on the bodies to guide citizens to maintain their healthy bodies for healthy nation.

In this respect, healthy nation can be defined in many ways, but the most definition that is used in this capitalist world is wealthy nation. DeNoon wrote an article named, “Healthy Citizens Boost National Wealth: European Commission Report Shows Investment in Health Can Help Economy”. In the article, he explained a research done by Marc Suhrcke and colleagues. They said “About 30% of economic growth in the United Kingdom between 1790 and 1980 has been estimated to be attributed to better health and dietary intake. Better health meant that British workers increased their ability to convert energy into productive work by over 50% during this period.” This also has a deep connection with life expectancy, which is related to retirement age and the duration of labor in one person’s lifetime. Longer people live, longer people work thus they make more money. Marc Suhrcke and colleagues also pointed out that “"The true purpose of economic activity is to maximize social welfare and not simply to produce more goods and services. Since better health is an important component of social welfare, its value ought to be included in measures of economic progress." This flow of the national message, stay clean and stay healthy, leads us back to bringing profits to the nation which will flow back to the citizens.  


DeNoon, D. J. (2006, November 09). Healthy Citizens Boost National Wealth. Retrieved April 24, 2017, from http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/news/20061109/healthy-citizens-boost-national-wealth

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