“If you cry once a week, your life will no longer be stressful,” said Hidefumi Yoshida, who is known as “the teacher of tears”.
Tears, whether derived from sadness or happiness, are thought to be an effective stress reliever. For this reason, more and more Japanese schools and companies encourage people to cry.
“Crying is a defensive act of self-defense against stress,” Junko Umihara, professor of Nippon Medical University, told the Japan Times.
Japanese companies and schools encourage people to cry to improve their mental health. Photo: JT.
Dubbed the “tear teacher” (namida sensei), 43-year-old Hidefumi Yoshida spent five and a half years traveling throughout Japan spreading the word about the benefits of crying. He realized crying has mental health benefits by witnessing a pupil no longer need psychological counseling after opening and crying.
“Compared to the effect of stress reduction, crying is better than laughing and sleeping,” commented the former high school teacher. Working with Hideho Arita, professor emeritus at Toho University’s Faculty of Medicine, Mr. Yoshida has been working with tears and lectures since 2014.
In 2015, Japan introduced a mandatory stress testing program for companies with 50 or more employees. Since then, Mr. Yoshida has been repeatedly invited to talk about crying.
According to Mr. Yoshida, the most important thing is to create the opportunity to cry. You can take advantage of touching movies, listen to lyrical music, or read inspirational stories. “If you cry once a week, your life will not be stress anymore”, “tears teacher” affirmed.
On September 7, Mr. Yoshida gave a lecture at Osaka High School in front of 79 grade 11 students. After watching an emotional film, the teenagers were asked to write and read their feelings. Thanks to that, many children could not hold back their tears.
“I think I should cry comfortably,” said Ryohai Tsuda, a 17-year-old male student. Sharing the same thought, Naito Sugimoto, also 17 years old, said: “It’s good to cry”.