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Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006


Poison, vendors and tai chi


G wonders (somewhat bizarrely) where to begin inquiring about where people go to find poisons for the purpose of suicide. "I would appreciate some suggestions for the heroine of a story I'm planning to write."

Sorry G, but this is not explicit information any reputable publication would be willing to print for -- excuse the pun -- mass consumption. Far too dangerous.

Try a medical library. I don't know of one specifically but maybe the Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Information Centre on (03) 5285-8181, or AMDA on (03) 5285-8088 could help point you in the right direction.

Or you could talk with a sympathetic herbalist who could point you to plants and other natural substances that alone or in combination might produce the effect you are seeking.

A heroine that commits suicide?

Moldy bed

Gunnar moved from Sweden to Yokohama a few years ago.

"Unfortunately we have a problem with mold in the apartment that we rent, especially in the bedroom. Now the mold has spread to the bed itself giving it an unpleasant odor. Can you advise on how to clean it?

"I contacted the maker in Sweden and they advised an 'Ozone treatment' but nobody -- dry cleaners, furniture shops etc -- seems to know where I can go for help."

Gunnar, have you told your landlord and/or the "fudo-san" from whom you rented the apartment of the trouble? Surely they are responsible for solving the problem. In the meantime, try to get your mattress out into direct sunlight and give it a good beating to get air circulating.

As for Ozone treatment, we would like to hear from anyone who has used such a treatment and can provide contact details.

Vendor in Tokyo

Linda is planning to come to Japan in March.

"I would like to know how or who I would need to talk to to be able to rent a stall at any of the markets in Tokyo to sell merchandise I would bring from the U.S."

It depends on the market, Linda. What you want to sell, at what level, and to whom. There are markets all over the place, some run privately, by organizations or local authorities. All have different rules. Remember also that if your friend enters Japan as a tourist, he or she is not legally entitled to work or do any kind of business.

Having said that, the Foreign Residents Advisory Service in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Shinjuku on (03) 5320-7744 had some good pointers.

Call TMG's one-stop Tokyo Business Entry Point on (03) 5320-4889. This is an English-language service that started last year to advise non-Japanese on doing business in Japan.

The service also has a Web site: www.tokyo-business.jp

Check this first , then e-mail with specific inquiries.

Reiki, tai chi

Maria is looking for classes in reiki and tai chi.

"Living in Nerima-takanodai I'd be happy if the classes are held in English and located along on the Seibu-Ikebukuro line (between Ikebukuro and Tokorozawa). I did look up in the town page, but most of the classes are in Japanese or quite far away."

Maria, if you are definite about wantings classes close to home, I think you should regard this as an excellent chance to improve your Japanese and plunge into whatever your local community has on offer.

If however, you are willing to travel further afield, consider working with Barbara Matsuura, who masterminds the Integrated Healing Arts Centre in Yoyogi.

Barbara is a tai chi teacher and also a reiki master. You can find out more about her on the Web site naturalhealingcenter.com/creative/barbaramatsumuura.htm

Or you can call IHAC on (03) 3374-6925; e-mail: integratedhealingarts@yahoo.com

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers to lifelines@japantimes.co.jp

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