08-APR-17 - 110.76 - ¥/$ Up
    About   Health   Business   Technology   Drones   Entertainment   Gaijin Journal   JPN on RakutenFM   JAPAN Trade News

'Oshibori' on the Rise: Reinventing the Hand Towel
By Brad Frischkorn

Long appreciated as quintessentially ‘Japanese,’ the practice of distributing ‘oshibori’ (hand towels) at restaurants, hotels, and other service businesses is going increasingly global -- as well as floral.

Credit the innocuously-named Fujinami Towel Service for at least smelling -- and acting on -- a good opportunity. The 49-year-old Tokyo-based company supplies hundreds of clients with traditional hot and cold hand towels, and is now moving to expand its line of scented towels.

“Oshibori is kind of an iconic representation of Japan’s sense of hospitality – warm, clean, and professional,” says Naoki Ootsuka, who manned Fujinami’s booth at the May Beautyworld Japan trade fair. Having good quality scented towels for guests should only encourage them to want to come back.”

Mr. Ootsuka’s assessment is not off the mark. The sense of smell is often considered the most significant memory trigger due to the neurophysiological connections in the brain. Smell is directly linked and intertwined with the limbic system responsible for processing emotions and memory. Smell can thus trigger emotions and memory -- good and bad -- as well as impact mood and behavior, according to experts at The Fifth Sense, an online support network for smell and taste disorder sufferers.

Fujinami Towel subsequently established Oshibori-Japan as a brand name, and set up a bilingual Japanese/English website at www.oshiborijapan.com, effectively reinventing the hand towel for a modern, global market.

Through the new brand, the company markets the Ray-on, a dual-purpose warmer/cooler that prepares hand towels according to desired temperature specs with a push of a button. Priced at 16,200 yen per copy, the machine sells out easily.

At the high end, the company’s regular domestic product/service lineup features a ‘rental towel’ system, whereby cloth hand towels in a variety of colors are delivered, retrieved, and recycled back into use. Dimensions range from 270mm x 270mm to 295mm x 370mm, and come in designer colors fit for showrooms and offices, restaurants, and beauty parlors. Fujinami also sells disposable cotton towels.

The hand towels can be imbued with aroma with the LARME system, which the company also markets. All-natural scents are diffused from concentrated 6mm-thick sheets placed inside towel warmers and activated by the heat. Available aromas include citral (lemon grass), lavender, eucalyptus, grapefruit, bergamot, peppermint, Japanese cypress, and rosemary.

In June, the company introduced its new ‘yuika’ scent, an essential oil native to Japan’s Gifu region.

Liberal amounts of samples of each aroma were given out by staff at the expo. Grateful recipients took their time to try to identify the scent they were experiencing and its authenticity – not always a simple task.

“A mildly alluring, maybe even mysteriously pleasant aroma, can be a powerful memory stimulant,” says Mr. Ootsuka. “Inbound tourism is already at an all-time high in Japan, and we’re still four years from the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.”

Fujinami currently exports to as far away as Russia, and has plans for expanding its toehold in the U.S. The firm already has a network of branches in Vietnam, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and in California.

Read more:

Read more: http://oshiborijapan.com



Disposable aromatic cloth hand towels

“A mildly alluring, maybe even mysteriously pleasant aroma, can be a powerful memory stimulant.” -- Naoki Ootsuka

Related Links

GAIJIN Journal and News Front Page


Waterproof LEDs Safe Enough for Fish

"Almost all the major farms in Japan have now switched over to LEDs in some form. The only unconquered area left is Hokkaido." -- Hitoshi Tatsuno.

Meton Co., Ltd.

Air Pressure Makes Lifting a Breeze

Innophys founder Hiroshi Kobayashi

Robot Assembly Kits: Training Tomorrow's Einsteins

“The mBot helps kids get accustomed to science and basic technology in a fun way." -- Alice Zhong

Shenzhen Maker Works Technology Co., Ltd.

Dry Ice Cleaning Awaits Japanese Thaw

“Unlike sand, soda, beads, and steam, there’s no pitting or damage to underlying surfaces (with dry ice cleaning), no fire or electrical hazards, and zero toxicity.” -- Lan Jin

Okinawa Pushes Free Trade Zone

“Obviously, what happens with the U.S. bases matters a great deal. But we can still do a lot independently of negotiations between governments, and we need to think pro-actively.” -- Shikatsu Touma

No Excuse to Stay Dirty

“With one of these in the trunk, there really is no excuse to stay dirty. The system can be used in combination or in parts, a feature which owners like.” -- Allen Qin

08-APR-17 - 110.76 - ¥/$ Up
    About   Health   Business   Technology   Drones   Entertainment   Gaijin Journal   JPN on RakutenFM   JAPAN Trade News
The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Japan Press Network KK. All websites are published in Japan and are solely subject to Japanese law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. JPN, AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Japan Press Network, Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Japan Press Network KK on any Web page published or hosted by Japan Press Network KK. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Japan Press Network KK have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Japan Press Network KK will be ignored and reported to Australian, American, Japanese, Russian and Global Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.