japans nonagenarians

Essential Japanese Traditions From Our Nonagenarians

Japanese culture is unique, fascinating, and multifaceted, so it’s no surprise 85% of Brits are interested in Japanese culture and believe that there’s been an increased fascination with Japan over the last decade. This fascination also has an interesting scientific name: Japanophilia - the appreciation and love of Japanese culture, people, and history. 

The stats don’t lie when it comes to what people in Britain think about Japan, with almost half (43%) of Brits believing that Japan is the happiest and healthiest nation in the world. You’re probably wondering what makes the nation of Japan so healthy and happy and how you can get some of that for yourself. Worry not, we’ve spoken to three captivating Japanese resident nonagenarians on what daily rituals they believe contribute to a happy and healthy life. 

Meet Tokyo's Finest Residents & Stars of our Ads:

Michiko Hoshi, 93

“Go to bed with the gratitude that today was spent safe and sound”

Wisdom, wellbeing and miso soup just about sums up Michiko. Youthful in mind and spirit, it’s hard to believe she’s really 93! One thing about Michiko is that she loves her food. Breakfast consists of rice, miso soup and Japanese pickles, there’s really no better start to the day than with a tasty and balanced meal. 

older japanese women with sunglasses

She’s also letting us in on a traditional family recipe that has and will continue to be passed down for years - miso soup with clams (shijimi). Could this be the secret to a long and happy life? I guess you have to test it out for yourself. Not only is she a lover of miso soup, but she also loves apple cider vinegar “I put it on virtually everything” she says. Apple cider vinegar is extremely dynamic and versatile when it comes to cooking e.g. apple cider vinegar pairs wonderfully with fish. 

After a day of healthy balanced eating, how does Tokyo’s legend end her day? Listening to the radio and falling into a slumber with gratitude and appreciation for the day. Not only does Michiko value gratitude, she believes “health is a treasure” and that for a healthy mind and body gratitude is paramount. 

Life Tips in a Nutshell:

  • Eat a healthy and balanced meal for breakfast to start the day right.
  • Go to bed with gratitude and appreciation for the day.
  • Health is wealth, use gratitude to achieve a healthy mind and body.

    Aiko Masuda, 95

    “Making people happy keeps me going”

    Flamboyance and fashion with a drizzle of Ikigai is what sums up our first nonagenarian Aiko. This icon starts her day by doing squats while waiting for the microwave to beep and ends her day by listening to the Italian opera group the Three Tenors. 

    older japanese women with an open embrace

    Age is truly just a number with Aiko as she compliments her microwave squats with some morning stretches for 10 minutes. Now when it comes to eating, Aiko sticks to the typical ‘Japanese Diet’ of a balanced array of different food groups and smaller portions e.g. for breakfast she will have 2-3 sheets of nori, dried radish, fried sweet potato and tofu, cheese and natto (a fermented soybean).

    Ikigai is important to Aiko, ikigai essentially means what is your “reason of being”. To Aiko, ikigai is giving enjoyment to the people around you. “Being an example to others, I like to sew and make clothing, and give little presents to my friends and family. Making people happy keeps me going” she beautifully says. 

    To top this all off Aiko loves her some apple cider vinegar! She puts a little bit in her apple juice, luckily for her, we have apple juice and ACV combined in our OSU Original ACV. She also uses apple cider vinegar a lot when cooking fish to add flavour and soften texture. 

    Life Tips in a Nutshell:

    • Start your day off right with exercise (of any kind) and end your day by unwinding listening to your favourite artists.
    • Not only drink Apple cider vinegar but add it into your meals too for a heightened flavour experience. 
    • Embrace ikigai by giving joy to others.

      Tadashi Okuno, 92

      “Health is a treasure”

      Meet Tadashi, food is a virtue for this 92-year-old actor and he likes to live life on the edge. He wakes up with no alarm and eats just about anything for dinner. While radiating class and elegance, he embraces the carefree spontaneous lifestyle while still holding some core values. “Health is wealth” he states with importance on family bonds. It’s no surprise this free souls’ ikigai is “living life itself”. 

      older japanese man looking friendly

      Life tips in a nutshell:

      • Maintaining a sense of health is the key to life.
      • A spontaneous/carefree soul is a happy one. 
      • Living a good life is your purpose. 

        Start your Daily Habits With OSU

        We spoke with Michiko, Tadashi and Aiko to highlight the importance of daily rituals in establishing a balanced lifestyle. From food and drink to how they approach overall holistic health and wellbeing, at OSU we want to enrich your understanding of Japanese culture and society and make small actionable changes to be a better version of yourself. Kick start your journey today with our premium Apple Cider Vinegar flavours.