Japan tackles scorching heat; check out the awesome tech

As temperatures continue to rise, Japanese firms are embracing innovation to help people cope with scorching heat.

| Updated on: Aug 19 2023, 10:01 IST
Japanese apparel technology
At least 53 people died because of heatstroke and almost 50,000 needed emergency medical attention in Japan. (AFP)
Japanese apparel technology
At least 53 people died because of heatstroke and almost 50,000 needed emergency medical attention in Japan. (AFP)

When it comes to technology, Japan has looked for ways to be a step ahead of the rest of the world. Now, you can find Japanese technology even in their apparel. As temperatures continue to rise globally, Japanese firms are adopting new innovations to help people cope with the intense summer heat. This July, Japan faced the warmest summer in a century. It has raised concerns about heat-related illnesses and fatalities.

According to a report by AFP, at least 53 people died because of heatstroke, and almost 50,000 needed emergency medical attention. To tackle this dire situation, companies are introducing inventive products designed to provide relief from the heat.

One such innovation has been introduced by Workman. This is a company that makes apparel for construction workers. The company launched fan-fitted jackets in 2020. These jackets consist of two electric, rechargeable palm-sized fans in the back, which draw in air and deliver a refreshing breeze to the wearer's body at varying speeds, reports AFP. The popularity of these jackets highlights the growing interest in wearable fan-equipped clothing, with prices ranging from 12,000 to 24,000 yen ($82-164).

Threat to aging population

Heatstroke poses a severe threat in Japan, particularly among its aging population. More than 80 percent of heat-related deaths over the past five years have occurred among senior citizens. To address this issue, MI Creations offers neck-cooling tubes containing cooling gel, which, after a 20-minute stint in the fridge, can provide relief for up to an hour when worn around the neck. This innovative approach offers a simple yet effective way to reduce body temperature and mitigate heat-related risks. This tube costs about 2500 Yen

Liberta, another Tokyo-based company, introduces a range of clothing, including T-shirts and arm sleeves, designed to provide a cooling sensation. These products incorporate prints made from xylitol, which reacts with water and sweat to create a cool feeling on the skin. Similarly, Chikuma, in collaboration with power tool manufacturer Makita and textile giant Teijin, has developed office jackets and dresses equipped with electric fans. Unlike traditional fan-fitted garments, these pieces boast a unique structure that maintains a streamlined appearance while keeping the cooling air circulating.

Parasols for men.

Even traditional gender norms are evolving as men embrace practicality over stigma. Komiyama Shoten, a luxury umbrella maker, began crafting parasols for men in response to a call by the environment ministry to use such accessories for sun protection. While parasols were once viewed as feminine, more men are realizing the benefits of staying in the shade and cooler in the scorching sun. Wearable fans, too, are becoming a popular choice, with individuals like Shoma Kawashima relying on them for instant relief from the heat.

Technology is not the solution!

While these innovations offer convenient ways to beat the heat, it's crucial to recognize that gadgets alone won't solve the challenge of rising temperatures. As climate change continues to impact the world, broader efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implement sustainable practices remain essential in creating a more comfortable and habitable environment for everyone.



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First Published Date: 19 Aug, 10:01 IST