Great Bathing Cultures of the World: The Japanese Bath with Mikkel Aaland - Context Travel

Great Bathing Cultures of the World: The Japanese Bath with Mikkel Aaland


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Join a published author on a journey through the history of Japanese bathing as we experience the Japanese bath in its many forms. We’ll gain insight into a culture that sees cleanliness as a way to godliness and we’ll understand why the Japanese passion for bathing is legendary.

In this lecture, we will travel to Japan as we will learn about Japanese baths in their many forms, from serene natural onsen (hot springs), to ancient sweat bathing forms such as the kama-buro (kiln bath), the mushi-buro (steam bath), and the kara-buro (cave bath). We will also examine a recent trend, the national obsession with the Finnish sauna. By the end, participants will gain insight into why the Japanese see cleanliness as a way to godliness.

Led by Mikkel Aaland, the author of the celebrated book on the history of global bathing, Sweat, and the host of the documentary series, Perfect Sweat. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will emerge with a sense of calm cleansing and an education for tackling the world of Japanese bathing for any future trip.

Mikkel Aaland is a professional photographer and the author of 12 best-selling books on digital photography. His non-technical books include, "County Fair Portraits,” (for which he made an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman) “Sweat” (an illustrated tour of international bathing customs, culminating a three-year project), "The Sword of Heaven," "Pilgrimage to Kailash" and a recently published memoir, "The River in My Backyard.” He is the host of the documentary series Perfect Sweat, currently in post-production. Aaland, along with his wife and two daughters, is based in San Francisco and Telemark, Norway.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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