J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
* * * * * * * * F R U G A L W A T C H * * * * * * *
A weekly roundup of how to be frugal in the world's most
expensive country to live (unless you read this!), written
and compiled by Wendy J. Imura.
Regular edition, May 9, 2005 Issue No. 55
- What's New (Clean that Bathtub!)
- Event Notice: (Call for Book Donations)
- Frugal Tips (Cheap Mail/Package Forwarder)
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===Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo - May Seminar==
Norio Murakami, President of Google Japan Inc.,
will be presenting "The Past, Present and Future
Date/Time: Tuesday, May 10th 7:00 pm
Location: City Club of Tokyo - Maple Room (Canadian Embassy
+++ WHAT'S NEW (Clean that Bathtub!)
Dear Frugal Readers,
Okay, so maybe the title of this week's article has put you
off. You don't like cleaning. You don't have a bathtub. Your
house is already spic-and-span. Whatever. I know that,
honestly, hidden behind that door to your ofuro, most
likely lurks a moldy monster that needs constant upkeep.
With the rainy season approaching in the 'land of the rising
fungus,' I thought I'd share a few frugal tub-cleaning tips
with you taken from our friendly neighborhood home
center's How To Series: "How to Clean your Bathtub."
For daily care, regular tub scum can be cleaned off using
warm water and a sponge. Once every two or three days,
a thorough cleaning with foaming cleaner is recommend -
spray, leave on for 20-30 seconds, and then scrub with a
sponge. Never clean your bathtub or shower when it is dry,
and be sure and run the exhaust fan (kankisen) and clean
with the door open, so as to avoid a buildup of fumes. For
your reference, bathtub/bathroom cleaner is called
"youshitsu-you senzai" or "ofuro kuriina" in Japanese.
For most plastic or resin bathtubs, stubborn tub stains can
be removed by either placing tissue paper soaked in bathroom
cleaner over the stains, or by sraying a layer of bathroom
cleaner and then covering it with kitchen-use plastic wrap.
Leave the tissue paper/plastic wrap for five to ten minutes -
it should make the stains easier to scrub off after removal.
For stains that will not come off despite aggressive scrubbing,
a cream-based cleaner ('kuriimu kuriina' in katakana) can also
be helpful. Use an old toothbrush to polish and remove stains
with the cleaner from the tub plug, chain, and faucet.
Got a stinky bathtub drain? Join the club. Residue, hair, and
other nasties can build up (especially in rental unit bathtubs),
making for a progidious odor. Cleaning the hidden 'hair trap'
regularly is, of course, a must, but at least once a month you
should remove the lid, and clean the drain lid, hair trap, and
drain area with a sponge dabbed with cream cleaner. Use an
old toothbrush to remove scum between the cracks. If the
odor persits or the pipes clog, try pouring bathroom clearner
down the drain followed with water. Finally, there are special
drain pipe cleaning products (paipu-yo senzai). Be sure and
choose a type which will dissolve hair balls. Using this sort
of product reguarly can also prevent odors/clogging.
Next - the mold. Despite energetic scrubbing with a proper
brush (choose one wth a pointed tip to get in between the
floor and wall tiles), some mold will just not come off. A
chlorine-based mold killer (ennso-kei kabi kiira) should
bleach the mold and take it off - gel-type or spray-type
cleaners are recommended. Wait some time after applying
these cleaners before rinsing.
If the hose of your shower is dirty, the toothbrush/
cream-based cleaner trick should work here as well.
If your shower head has become clogged or the water
flow is bad, try cleaning out the small water nozzles with
the tip of a toothpick or needle. Finally - don't forget
the ceiling. If you're tall enough, a good scrub with a
sponge is usually enough - but a clean floor mop with also
do the job.
So - is your bathtub/bathroom sparkling clean now?
If so - great! If not, take your frugal self down to drug
store or 100-yen store do get some cleaning supplies!
Wendy J. Imura
==== AMT Group's Exclusive Seminar ========
"Leadership Awareness Seminar" (in Japanese) at AMT Group's
Development Den in Yotsuya. 10:00 - 15:00, May 17 & 19
In a small group (maximum 6 participants):
* Learn and apply new leadership & coaching tools
* Access 100+ ways to motivate yourself and others
* Practice presenting before a group of peers and
Total investment: JPY97,000.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details and to register.
And...for a FREE subscription to Andrew's Ax Leadership
Development newsletter, e-mail Ax@amt-group.com
+++ ANNOUNCEMENT: Book Drive for the Philippines ++++
From the Freecycle Japan mailing list:
"My wife and I run a book drive which donates books to four
libraries in the Philippines. All types of books are welcome from
trashy romance novels to boring academic tomes and everything
in between. Don't know what to do with unneeded school books?
Donate them to us!
The books go to four libraries:
The Visayas Library in the University of the Philippines
(http://www.upv.edu.ph/ ), where she is a professor and I
am a lecturer
St. Columban's High School, San Felipe, Zambales, the
Catholic parish school in my wife's hometown.
Zambales Central Institute, San Felipe, Zambales, a high
school in my wife's hometown and her alma mater
San Felipe Municipal Library, Zambales, the city library
of my wife's hometown.
As you may know, the Philippines has two official languages
- English and Tagalog - but most written material and
all higher education is in English. And, therefore, books must
be in English, often imported from America, an expensive
We take donated books and ship them to the Philippines.
All the money that is donated is spent on shipping to the
Philippines. All the books are donated. We do not pay for books;
we save our money for shipping.
We have had books donated by individuals, by publishers, and by
students and faculty at various schools, including Northeastern
University in Boston and St. George's School in Newport,
So far we have donated over 1,500 books and journals.
If you have books to donate, write to us and we will give you
our address and other instructions. You can contact us at:
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+++ FRUGAL TIPS (Recommendations for Inexpensive Forwarder)
Discussions on the Frugal Japan list have recently focused
on reasonable prices for forwarding mail, packages, and other
items from foreign countries to Japan. In addition to services
such as FBC Express or Mailboxes Inc, here is a cheaper
"The company is called Access USA and I pay 160 USD a year
to have an American address. Prompt and reliable shipping.
Not sure how the shipping rates compare to other outfits,
but you're free to have a look. Here's the link to their
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+++ ABOUT US
Written by: Wendy J. Imura (email@example.com)
Edited by: JI
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