- Title: Tokyo communal bath house offers lectures to naked customers
- Date: 29th May 2017
- Summary: ***WARNING CONTAINS NUDITY*** (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 26-YEAR-OLD IGO INSTRUCTOR, KENTA IGETA, SAYING: "I deeply agree with Tamura's idea, furthermore the reason I started teaching Go was also that this game gives a venue of communication among people regardless of their sex or age."
- Embargoed: 12th June 2017 07:58
- Keywords: Igo School Public Bath House Sento
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Human Interest / Brights / Odd News
- Reuters ID: LVA0076IW5109
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: **EDIT CONTAINS NUDITY**
One public bath house in Tokyo is offering classes to its naked customers, hoping the experience of learning in the nude will not only be liberating but also bring back a young audience to the dying tradition of communal baths.
The topic of Saturday's (May 27) class, was the game of go, sometimes called Chinese Chess.
Attended by nine men wearing nothing but towels, the class was taught by instructor Kenta Igeta, also wearing a towel wrapped around his waist.
Towels are usually optional in public baths, with some people preferring to go without.
Yuichi Tamura, the bathhouse's manager and the great-grandson of the founder, came up with the ideas in the hope the classes would bring in a new clientele that had not yet experienced bathhouses.
Founded in 1939, Hinodeyu, or the Sunrise Bath House located near Tokyo's famous Asakusa district, used to see in its heydays over 500 people pack its public bath tubs per day.
However with sento - as public baths are called in Japan - losing ground to home baths in Japanese residences after World War Two, Hinodeyu too has seen a drop in its customers, and now sees about 100 people a day mostly elderly clients.
For the usual the admission price of 460 yen (US$4.1), anyone can attend these monthly courses, though the subject is not fixed and depends on finding teachers interested in teaching without a stitch on.
The Go teacher, Igeta says teaching in public baths was worthwhile as the nakedness broke down communication barriers.
While in the women's bath, Igeta is fully dressed and for the sake of modesty his pupils enjoy a footbath instead, but if the teacher had been a woman, the roles would have been reversed.
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