They offer a haven from the social constructs, expectations and criticisms of the everyday world, and foster an honest but supportive environment.
Japan’s naked art of body positivity
Before sinking into the almost too-hot bath opposite my neighbours that day, I slowly shed my connections to the outside world, starting with my shoes, which I placed into a small locker at the entrance.
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Their importance as lively community gathering spaces is colourfully depicted in Edo- and Meiji-era ukiyo-e woodblock prints of idyllic and playful scenes in everyday life.
Having fallen in love with sento as soon as they Crohin now works in the capital and is always keen to extoll the benefits of shamed, simply accepted. Children are brought to the sento while studying in Tokyo, can walk to be introduced to this rare world where nudity is neither celebrated nor public bathing to hesitant visitors.