Ten Habits for Health (健康十訓)

Here’s a set of ten habits (precepts, lessons, guidelines) for health from Japanese literature which also adorn tea mugs and posters [aretan_健康十訓].   The translation is provided first and followed by the original text.   If only I would learn them 🙂

Updates – Added the line “Eat less, taste more” and a story on Mar 13, 2022.


Ten Habits for Health 

Even if there is nothing delightful, beautiful or wonderful, health is nonetheless health.*

  1. Less meat, more vegetables (Meat in moderation, vegetables in plenty, then health improves)
  2. Less salt and more vinegar (Excess salt intake is a source of high blood pressure, vinegar is a source of health)
  3. Less sweets, more fruits (Sweet things are from fruit, sugar is a direct ticket to obesity)
  4. Less eating and more chewing (Eat to 8/10 fullness and chew well, then fortune, which is also chewed, stays with you)
  5. Less clothes, more bathing (People, who dress lightly and like baths, tend to be healthy)
  6. Less talking, more doing (In place of chattering, start performing)
  7. Less greediness, more sharing (Instead of running for one’s own desires, run for those of others)
  8. Less grief, more sleep (In the same way one may worry, let’s end it by quickly sleeping*)
  9. Less driving, more walking (Vehicles are certainly fast.  However, walking is a shortcut to health)
  10. Less resenting, more smiling (Even when offended, one readily forgets if one smiles)

Incidentally, a sibling mentioned another line that could fit nicely with Habit #4:

  • “Less eating, more taste” or “Eat less, taste more” (少食多味)
    • This apparently arose from the experience of sharing dishes on a Lazy Susan at a Chinese restaurant where a dish comes around to a person and there’s hardly anything left.  When that person complains, somebody might joke with this line saying “Don’t worry.  When you eat less, food tastes better.”
    • I can see the corollary:  “Eat more, taste less” (多食少味).
      • I notice that the first bite of a dish can be incredibly flavorful, tasty and satisfying and that each subsequent bite has a diminished taste.
      • In fact, when full and over-eating, I think I can hardly taste the food.

* Not sure of this translation.


健康十訓 

From [aretan_健康十訓] and also referred to as 健康の心得.

健康は嬉しい美しい素晴らしい何はなくてもやっぱり健康

一、少肉多菜(お肉ほどほど 野菜たっぷり 健康もりもり)
二、少塩多酢(塩分摂りすぎは高血圧のもと 酢は健康のもと)
三、少糖多果(甘いものは果実から 砂糖は肥満への直通切符)
四、少食多噛(腹八分目でよく噛みゃ 幸せもかみしめられる)
五、少衣多浴(薄着で風呂好きの人は 健康を身につけている人)
六、少言多行(べらべら喋っている間に行動を開始せよ)
七、少欲多施(自分の欲望のために走らず 他人のために走れ)
八、少憂多眠(くよくよしたって同じ とっとと寝てしまおう)
九、少車多歩(自動車は確かに早い でも歩けば健康への近道)
十、少憤多笑(怒ったときでも ニコニコしていれば忘れてしまう)


References

[aretan_健康十訓] Hiroki YOSHIDA (aretan)   「健康十訓」

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