More older people turning to cooking, music
An increasing number of older people in Japan are taking an active interest in cooking or music as a means to enjoy their lives.
As Japan prepares for a peak in retirement of baby boomers in 2007, an increasing number of older people are taking an active interest in cooking or music as a means to enjoy their lives in retirement.
Cooking and music courses are gaining popularity in parts of the country, some of them offered by organizations such as the Better Home Association and music instrument maker Yamaha Corp.
Those taking lessons include elderly people in their 80s, indicating some retirees are making an active effort to get out and enjoy their lives instead of staying home and simply getting old.
Many products of Japan's first postwar baby boom between 1947 and 1949 will hit retirement age in 2007.
The Better Home Association offers cooking courses to middle age and older people in Tokyo and other places in the country.
A group of about 30 men, including those in their 50s and 80s, in a relatively advanced course received a lesson on making beef stew, Caesar salad and dessert crepes in the association's headquarters in Tokyo's Shibuya district.
Wearing aprons and bandannas in a variety of colors, the men broke into groups of four and appeared serious, deftly handling their kitchen knives. They grilled pieces of meat in frying pans and boiled them in pots.
They followed the teacher's instructions and seemed to get along well with each other.