Ageing well in Japan


Living gracefully: Michiko Tara sits by the window in her apartment in Kanagawa Prefecture in November last year.

BOOKS by elderly women describing how to enjoy life with ingenuity and without spending much money have recently become popular in Japan.

One such author, Michiko Tara, is now 88. She has lived in a 50-square-metre public rental apartment in Kanagawa Prefecture, about an hour and a half from central Tokyo by train, for more than half a century. Having lost her husband eight years ago, she now enjoys living alone for the first time in a very long time. Her daily routine includes morning physical exercise, gardening, making simple meals, sewing and reading. She also occasionally enjoys mahjong with friends and dining out with her children and grandchildren. In August 2020, with the help of her grandson, she started a YouTube channel about her life and soon became very popular. In March, a book was published introducing her life.

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