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Japanese Turning To "Therapeutic Ringtones" 75

indiavision writes "A host of young Japanese are drawn to the allure of 'therapeutic ringtones' — a genre of melodies that promises to ease a range of day-to-day gripes, from chronic insomnia to a rotten hangover. Developed by Matsumi Suzuki, the head of the Japan Ringing Tone Laboratory, an eight-year-old subsidiary of the Japan Acoustic Laboratory, the tones are a hit with housewives as well as teenagers."


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Japanese Turning To "Therapeutic Ringtones"

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  • Well so are placebos to a certain extent, which this seems to be nothing more than.
    • Re:Theraputic? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by icebike ( 68054 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @06:22PM (#31502302)

      I can't speak to Theraputic, but having a loud annoying ring tone affects the way most people answer the phone.

      Something soothing sets the mood. Something loud or annoying tends to make people snap at the caller.

      This was found when the first electronic handsets were introduced to offices. They came with a selection of ring tones and office managers quickly determined that setting the phones to use the more pleasant sounding the ring, lead to more civil answering, even during hectic times.

    • Re:Theraputic? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @06:30PM (#31502392)
      Scientists have proven that placebos work just as well as the leading anti-depressants for patients with mild or moderate depression! Placebos are cheap, versatile, and have soooooooo many uses! They are the new wonder drug!
  • by bmo ( 77928 )

    Why does this make me think that it's actually Vocaloid J-Pop?


  • Japan : therapeutic ringtones :: USA : Lynyrd Skynyrd ringtones
  • What's the Japanese for "There's a sucker born every minute"?
  • Sometimes I wish I had the moral fortitude to create and sell snake oil.
  • In order to make it through the day, do these Japanese rely on a bunch of people calling them? Somehow I don't think phonecalls are going to motivate a "sluggardly housewife" (from TFA) to do more housework. Also, where are the examples? This article is no good without examples.
  • Some people will be torn between therapeutic ringtones and violent and dangerous microwaves. So, uhm, is this good or bad? Help, I'm confused!
  • I admit I only scan read the article but are these for playing when you get a call or just audio on the phone to play? Ringtones are for informing you that you have a call, if my phone rings (I admit that doesn't happen very often) I answer it straight away. Sitting and listening to a tone is a precise art; if you leave it too long the call times out and you are left with a very nice memory of the tone but no purpose for your phone other than 'therapy'.
    • You apparently don't get many calls from bill collectors.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bahstid ( 927038 )
      I didn't RTFA either, but my phone (I live in Japan) has a "Spa Menu", with a feature called "Healing Illumination" when turned on makes kind of peaceful sounds... sort of "ambient", as in the music genre, along with blinkenlights fading between "soothing" pale shades of colour. (Other settings on the menu are to display an hourglass or clock, presumably to keep yourself from being overcooked, the obvious music/radio/tv player and even a quiz section to brush up on your English or Maths while you soak)

  • why so cooky? (Score:4, Informative)

    by POds ( 241854 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @06:43PM (#31502526) Homepage Journal

    This does sound so cooky. I haven't read the article.. perhaps i should. But music can sometimes make me feel good. Certain music definitely feels be better in certain situations. I wont believe music will be able to cure physical ailments, but i see no reason why certain tones could help relieve stress.

    Sounds can definitely have the opposite effect. I'm sure kids screaming on the public transport raises my bloody pressure and i know my alarm in the morning makes my heart beat much faster. Many other sounds can also bring about stress, such as the sound of my ex girl friends voice :/.

    So couldn't sounds have a calming effect on the mind? The brain is also the centre of the body that controls a magnitude of chemicals that simulate other parts of the body. I think its very likely that sounds or music could interfere with this, just as they can in a negative way.

    No it's probably not the sounds frequency but our interpretation of it and what feels good to one person may feel bad to another depending on their history. But i would guess that there are certain sounds that make everyone feel good this has it's roots in evolutionary theory.

  • This qualifies as a "Slashdot Science Story"? How, exactly? Even the article states:

    Japan is no stranger to bizarre phone fads but the popularity of the ringtones is perhaps surprising given the flimsiness of the science behind them.

    How about "Anti-HIV properties of... bananas? []". And it's written by ERV, not some quack.

  • the tones are a hit with housewives as well as teenagers.

    Ah, the two most well-informed, fad-immune, money-conscious target markets out there. If anything was going to convince me that this wasn't just total bullshit, it would be the take up of this concept by those two groups. I'll take three, please.

  • for idiots letting their phone ring to the annoyance of all in the vicinity.

    I swear the length of time ringing is proportional to the product of ring volume and ringer annoyance quotient. Competively predicting the time can be a means of offsetting the irritation of enduring the Geico Boss' ringtone.
  • I may be the first to point it out in this thread but the Japanese have many odd cultural likes and dislikes on any given day.

    For your reference, see Anime. For my reference, see Cowboy Bebop. That was a damned good show. Now go watch Squidbillies. Culture(s) is odd.

  • Nasal blaster (Score:3, Insightful)

    by treeves ( 963993 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @07:09PM (#31502798) Homepage Journal

    The Ohana Sukkiri Melody emits a series of sounds at different frequencies "so that people can choose the sound that resonates most to their sinus and causes pollen lodged there to fall from the nasal cavity".

    That settles it. Gotta have that one. Any sound powerful enough to dislodge pollen from one's sinuses has got to be a dangerous weapon.

    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @08:17PM (#31503384)

      That settles it. Gotta have that one. Any sound powerful enough to dislodge pollen from one's sinuses has got to be a dangerous weapon.

      I take it you missed the part about having to keep your cellphone in one nostril?

    • That settles it. Gotta have that one. Any sound powerful enough to dislodge pollen from one's sinuses has got to be a dangerous weapon.

      Bumblebees are used in greenhouse pollenation because the particular frequency at which they beat their wings is more effective in causing the release of pollen. If this is a feature of pollen, and not the flower, then it stands to reason that the same thing may be possible inside of your nasal cavity. The down side is that you have to wear an in-ear headset, except in-nose.

      • by treeves ( 963993 )
        One difference (among many) between my nasal passages and a flower is that a flower is not usually moist. Also, beating wings actually cause air flow (whoosh?), not just compression and rarefaction that a transducer creates.
        • One difference (among many) between my nasal passages and a flower is that a flower is not usually moist.

          A flower that is not moist is called wilted or dried; either way, dead.

          Also, beating wings actually cause air flow (whoosh?), not just compression and rarefaction that a transducer creates.

          I read an extract. I forget where it was or I'd link it. They say the frequency is the key factor.

  • i wonder if they will have whale songs, maybe the death screams of the whales, or is that more of the erotic side?
  • Japans major export these days is weirdness.
  • I work a call center job, and I can vouch that having an irritating ring-tone does increase stress levels, especially during busy times, so I can see how something milder than a series of irritating beeps might help.
  • I've lived and worked in Japan for the last 10 years -- I have 200+ college students a semester, and I have to hear about this or hear one of these.

    I wonder what they writer meant about it's being a "hit"... WHERE is it a hit again? Some small ward in Shinjuku?


  • Now I can tell my boss and co-workers that I have to have a porn orgasm ringtone because it's therapautic!!! Too bad they'll see through this and fire me just as quickly but at least I can say I left my last job on medical grounds.

  • A-ring-a-ding-diggy-doe, a-ring-ding-ding-diggity doe. thanks, now I've got THAT in my head all day
  • and here I am with my "screeching, terrified woman about to be murdered" ringtone. People say I'm a little tense...
  • I've got a perfect studio recording here of the first movement of Four Minutes, Thirty-Three Seconds [], which I consider to the the perfect ringtone.
  • Yeah!! music therapy is successful in treating many diseases especially mental diseases. It is gonna have a great future ahead. []
  • Monsieur, as a therapeutic ring tone, may I propose a composition by Matthew Bianco? It is called "Get Out of Your Lazy Bed." []
  • Japan screams with "therapeutic" sounds intended to improve the mood of everyone, everywhere, from supermarkets, singing traffic lights to toilettes. This omnipresent cacaphony actually makes one want to hear a therapeutic silence. Would it be a commercial hit in Japan - that remains to be seen.

  • by Oasiz ( 1017554 )
    What's wrong with marimba ?

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson