Japan is blessed in many ways, including having the longest life expectancy in the world. Today the Japanese Health Ministry published revised figures on the longevity of its citizens, an amazing 79.5 years for men and 86.3 for women. There are many reasons why the Japanese live so long, including a healthier diet with smaller portions, a competent national health care system, and a preference for refreshing Asian teas over sweetened soft drinks. One difference between the U.S. and Japan is the custom of the oldest son or daughter remaining at home with the parents, taking over the family home and/or business while starting a family of their own, and I’m sure the joy of helping raise the grandkids gives a lot of older Japanese reason to live longer. Another big factor is what’s known as kizuna, the social bonds that conenct all of us. My mother-in-law has a huge network of friends, women she’s known all her life, and I’m amazed at the way they’ve all support each other, making sure no one ever feels alone.
Hayao Miyazaki, one of my favorite Japanese old dudes.