In Japanese culture, many activities that may seem mundane or purely functional in other parts of the world take on a uniquely erotic or intimate nature. From the consumption of certain foods like eels and raw fish to the practice of ear cleaning, the Japanese have elevated these experiences to new heights. Ear cleaning, in particular, holds a special place in Japanese culture as a profoundly intimate procedure that requires a great deal of trust between individuals. The act of allowing someone else to introduce sharp instruments into your ear canals is a testament to the level of trust involved, transcending cultural boundaries.
Interestingly, while audiologists in private practice clinics have spent years perfecting their skills and knowledge, there are salons in Japan dedicated solely to ear wax removal. These salons, often referred to as “salons” in Japanese culture, offer specialized services for wax removal at varying prices. Komori (2006) describes these salons as places where one can have their ear wax removed, but they also provide other services bundled together. One intriguing feature is the use of an ear-pick equipped with a tiny camera to display the inside of the client’s ears on a monitor, creating a fascinating visual experience reminiscent of a video otoscope.
The services offered at these salons range from a simple and quick wax removal job, which takes approximately five minutes and costs around 500 Yen (a little over $4.00), to a more indulgent and relaxed approach that lasts for 10 minutes and costs 1000 Yen (approximately $9.00). For those seeking a truly luxurious experience, some salons even offer the option to bundle a massage into the package, priced at 2000 Yen (around $16.75). This unique combination of ear cleaning and relaxation raises intriguing questions about the possibilities of expanding audiology services to include a holistic approach that incorporates therapeutic treatments like massage.
Geisha House – Erotic Ear Cleaning Services???
Taking the concept of ear cleaning to another level, geisha houses in Japan have also ventured into the realm of erotic ear cleaning services. Contrary to common misconceptions, geishas are not involved in prostitution. Their role traditionally revolves around captivating their patrons through special ceremonies, non-romantic poetry, and various art forms. In recent years, erotic ear cleaning has emerged as a popular trend within geisha houses. These establishments, particularly prevalent in Tokyo, offer a sensual experience where gentlemen can rest their heads on the lap of a beautiful geisha while she delicately cleanses and massages their ears.
Dressed in traditional Japanese maid uniforms, the geishas utilize a range of tools, including bamboo picks, ear syringes, and flushes, along with massage oils and ointments. The sessions typically last for about thirty minutes, costing approximately 270 Yen (a little over $4.00), providing a unique opportunity for relaxation and intimate conversation.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that the Japanese have developed special gadgets for wax removal, known as “mimikaki” or “ear picks.” Traditionally made from bamboo, these curettes are specifically designed to clean the ear canal. With the majority of the population in East Asia having dry earwax, these ear picks have become a popular tool for removing crusty flakes more effectively than traditional Q-tips. In Japanese culture, the act of ear cleaning is often considered an act of intimacy, frequently performed by a mother for her child or between romantic partners. It is known to provide a pleasurable sensation akin to having one’s back scratched.
The cleaning of ears is thus considered an act of intimacy, often performed by a mother to a child or, among adults, by one’s lover. Komori (2006) also indicates that many Japanese women want to learn how to remove earwax to please men, and these salons may begin to classes to teach women ear cleaning and massage as part of their bridal training. (Hmm…a new profit center for audiology clinics, perhaps?)
All4Women.co.za, Erotic earcleansing: a new fad?, Retrieved from the World Wide WebSeptember 13, 2010: http://all4women.co.za/health/japanese-erotic-ear- cleaning.html
Genes, N. (2006). Mimikaki: Ritualized Ear Wax Removal. Medgadget.com: Retrieved from the World Wide Web August 7, 2011: http://medgadget.com/2006/03/mimikaki_ritual_1.html
Komori, H., New type of Tokyo salon offers to unplug ears, The Japan Times, Retrieved
from the World Wide Web September 13, 2010: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20060325f2.html