Cholera Belt

Cecil, you’ll be happy to know that the cholera belt survives in Japan, and is in fact quite common. Known as a hara-maki (belly-band), these knitted woolen bands are worn by many older men (especially in the countryside) who believe that a chilly tummy leads to illness (and most Japanese tend to agree, but then most Japanese believe that blood type is a good indicator of personality). They are also common among laborers, often in garish colors (these guys dress very strangely anyway), who also find them convenient for holding a pack of cigarettes.

Bob Poulson, Tokyo