Sunday, November 1, 2009

Won't Miss #68 - uchimizu

Uchimizu is the practice of pouring water on the ground, street or the sidewalk in order to keep dust down or cool the pavement in summer. Originally, this practice was done using collected water from rain and had some spiritual significance in addition to being utilitarian. However, in Tokyo, the effect of pouring a bucket or two of water on the sidewalk is about as useful as a nail file is in cutting down a tree trunk when it comes to cutting the heat or dust. What is more though, many people who practice uchimizu do it in ways which are troublesome or gross. A lot of them throw their dirty cleaning water which sometimes smells foul or moldy onto the street. Others stand outside with a hose, wasting clean water and impeding the ability of pedestrians and cyclists to travel past their pointless gushing.

I won't miss this quaint past-time which has turned into a bit of a nuisance.

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