View Full Version : Do you suffer from 'kafunsho' (cedar pollen allergy) ?

Mar 23, 2005, 00:22
About 20% of the Japanese population suffers from kafunsho. The allergy causes the eyes to go itchy as well as constant runny nose. It hits hardest between early March and late April and is apparently limited to Japan, due the high number of Japanese cedars ("sugi") planted in the last decades following thoughtless government planning.

It is said that people susceptible of suffering from the allergy show signs since their childhood, or for foreigners, after about three years of staying in Japan.

Mar 23, 2005, 00:36
I never heard the japanese had problems with cedar trees, and this high number.In the most countries it's the pollen of plants or grass...hayfever .Although there are quite some people allergic to cedar trees, not japanese ones though :) I myself suffer from hayfever sometimes...depends on the weather :souka:

Apr 11, 2005, 07:26
Hay fever sufferers escape to Okinawa as pollen count hits high

Sneezing, watery-eyed hay fever sufferers are snapping up tours to Okinawa as they try to escape areas exposed to huge amounts of pollen from Japanese cedar and cypress trees this year.

Taking advantage of the high amount of pollen in the air this spring, a travel agent has actively marketed tours to Okinawa, which is generally free from Japanese cedar and cypress pollen, as a way to avoid the irritating symptoms of hay fever.

The pollen count this year is tens of times higher than last year's levels in many regions, and this year has been one of the worst years for sufferers of hay fever.

The pollen, a major cause of hay fever, is not expected to subside until the end of Japan's Golden Week series of holidays in early May, and sufferers are expected to continue to have to put up with symptoms in affected areas.

In mid-March, travel agent Hankyu Express advertised a tour to Okinawa as a destination low in Japanese cedar pollen. Company officials said a tour worker noticed that there were not many Japanese cedar or cypress trees in Okinawa, and the tour was created. Despite it being a spur-of-the-moment plan, the firm has reportedly been flooded with inquiries. The number of reservations for trips to Okinawa is reportedly more than 30 percent higher than during the same period last year.

Usually trips to Okinawa are for three or four nights, but this year there has been an increase in trips lasting between five and seven nights.

"We're surprised at the response. I suppose people with hay fever feel like they really want to escape," a company representative said.

Drug stores have also benefited from the hay-fever season with explosive sales of hay fever related products. Osaka-based Segami Medics Co., which operates 58 stores in the Kanto region, said its allergy-resistant eye drops had sold well this year. Sales for the 58 stores in March were seven times last year's figure, and some stores ran out of the product.

Some types of mask that cover a large part of the face have also sold out even though people avoided them last year.

"Since they have a unique shape that covers the whole lower part of the face, many people have said they look embarrassing, and we sold hardly any of them last year. I guess people have chosen effectiveness over appearance (this year)," a surprised official of Segami Medics said.

Research organization officials said that about 500 particles of Japanese cedar and cypress pollen per square centimeter were measured at all observation points in the Kanto region last year. This year over 10,000 particles per square centimeter have already been measured in some locations.

The peak season for Japanese cypress still lies ahead, and harsh conditions for hay fever sufferers look likely to continue.

Toho University professor Norio Sahashi, an expert on pollen allergies, said there was no fundamental way to prevent hay fever.

"Unless a specific medicine such as a hay fever vaccine is produced, there is fundamentally no way to prevent hay fever. At the present stage, people can only rely on masks and eye lotion as preventative measures," he said. (Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, April 9, 2005)

url: http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/news/20050409p2a00m0dm014001c.html

mad pierrot
Apr 11, 2005, 10:39
Yes, I'm allergic to ceder pollen, amongst other things.

The million dollar question?

"Do you have kafunsho in America?"