Comic: Cleaning your hands in America VS Japan

YB_4_17 japan comic comics cartoon texan in tokyo sanitation oshibori

I was hanging out with a friend recently and she was helping me brainstorm comic ideas. I do some of my best work alone – so it’s rare for me to be able to actually get ideas I like from others (remember when I said “I don’t play well with others?” Yeah, it applies to comics as well).

But she gave me a brilliant idea for oshibori and I just kind of ran with it.

Oshibori are those crisp white, steaming towels that are handed to you at most non fast-food restaurants (and fast food/convenience stores have moist towelettes packaged in plastic). You can clean your hands without having to trek to the bathroom!

In the winter, you get piping hot oshibori. In the summer, the oshibori are refreshingly chilled.


Like these comics? Check out my comic books (on Amazon):

My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy: The Comic Book


My Japanese Husband (still) Thinks I’m Crazy


Confessions of a Texan in Tokyo

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

8 Comments on Comic: Cleaning your hands in America VS Japan

  1. I loved this when I went to Japan last March! It was freezing cold and having a nice and warm towel really made me feel amazing! In local Japanese-inspired restaurants here in the Philippines, they’ve started giving out oshibori as well :)

    Pam //

  2. You should totally do the video comparison. I’m sure a surprising number of people would be interested–and it sounds amusing!

  3. I love oshibori! But it still seems weird to me to wipe my hands/face on a wet towel during the meal. I’m always looking around for a normal (to me) napkin to use.

  4. Richard // 26 July, 2015 at 6:13 pm //

    Using o-shibori is a great custom. My Japanese wife carries alcohol wipettes with her all the time so she/I can use one if/when a restroom is not readily available. These are especially useful with our 6 year old grandchild! Many, but not all, Japanese restaurants in Calif provide o-shibori.

  5. KFC around here used to give 1 or 2 wet handkerchiefs along the order. i dont think it ever occurred to me to use it to clean my hands with it before eating, lmao. that’s because we’re used to wash our hands – using water, soap, and drying them after, LMAO.
    We do have cleaning gels, like Touch which are amazing to use, and i should buy more of those >.>

  6. They are also common in China and of course during long distant flights :)
    In the past years they are often replaced by paper versions soaked in disinfection liquid as the usual towel is just wiping of a little bit in is by far not as effective as washing the hands the normal way

  7. Here in Hawaii, I get one of those towels at the dentist! I didn’t know that was what they were called. Nobody does this at restaurants here though. Bummer.

  8. That sounds amazing. I wish they would do something like that over here!

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