Japanese people tend not to show their feelings that easily and most of them would disagree with Charles Dickens’ statement: “We need never be ashamed of our tears.”
“Crying does not have a good image in Japan,” says Takashi Saga. “People believe you should not cry in front of people, that it is weak.”
Saga is a “tears sommelier”, which is, according to him, no different from the wine sommelier.
“Selecting wines that matches food is similar to my job. I introduce books, movies and video that touch(es) the people’s emotion,” Saga said, according to the media.
And that is what this audience is here for. Twice a month, Saga holds a “rui-katsu,” a crying for joy seminar. He says when people get emotional and cry, life’s burdens, tensions and frustrations melt away.
“Laughing can only release the stress at that moment,” Saga said, “but studies show the stress release from crying lasts for a week. Crying is better for your physical and mental health.”
When we cry because of emotional reasons, tears contain the same kinds of hormones released when the body is under physical stress, according to scientific studies.
“When it starts, some look provocative with a ‘try and make me.’ But when people cry here, they always show us big smile at the end of the session,” Saga said.
“I became highly emotional and couldn’t stop crying. I hardly cry at home, but I cried here,” Kengo Tsuda, one of the participants, said.