Mother’s Day gift idea from Japan – Shoulder massage coupons
I grew up in Japan where there is a culture of kids tapping the shoulders of parents and grandparents to show love and respect. There are even kids’ songs about shoulder massage. What a way to instill the idea to massage the elderly from a young age but I think it’s beautiful because the shoulder massage gives them the opportunity to talk to each other too. So it’s for both bonding and communicating. I have the link and the translation of the old Japanese massage song written in 1923 in my full blog post. By the way, I also looked for English massage songs but they were for adults only.
Because of this culture it’s common for kids to create shoulder massage coupons (katatatakiken) to give to their mothers on Mother’s Day as a thank you gift. According to a recent survey of 1,000 people in Japan between the age 10 and 40 about the past Mother’s Day gift, #1 was flowers with 74.1%, #2 was meals with 36.4%, and believe or not #3 was shoulder massage coupons with 32.7%.
Here are some examples of those coupons. This one is handmade by a kid. It says “Shoulder massage coupon. 0 yen. Reusable many times.”
This one says “Thank you Mother always” and each coupon specifies either 5 or 10 minutes.
This one simply says shoulder massage coupon. It’s very generic so I guess the terms and conditions are up to the interpretation and negotiation.
I don’t remember if I massaged my parents or grandparents when I was a kid. I became a massage therapist long after I lost my mother and grandparents. I wish I could show off my shoulder massage skills to them. On this Mother’s Day, I’ll be working at the spa massaging many mothers. It’s nice to give them a professional massage, but why not give few minutes of your shoulder massage to your mother and grandmother with love, respect, and heartfelt thank you. And if you make a shoulder massage coupon, I don’t recommend putting terms and conditions in fine prints.
Old Japanese massage song “Katatataki”
Mother, let me tap your shoulder. Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.
Mother, you have gray hair. Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.
Balcony is filled with sunlight. Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.
Red poppy is smiling. Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.
Mother, does it feel that good. Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.
5-5-14 Massage your mother’s shoulder http://bit.ly/mm-050514