Japanese-Style Spas Gain Popularity in China

February 23, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. top management / tɒp ˈmæn ɪdʒ mənt / (n.) – the staff with the highest positions in a company
Example: The top management gets to decide on which projects to continue.

2. selection / sɪˈlɛk ʃən / (n.) – a set of things that people may choose from
Example: Her library has a wide selection of novels.

3. stand out / stænd aʊt / (idiom) – to be very noticeable
Example: He stood out in the contest because of his unique talent.

4. analogous / əˈnæl ə gəs / (adj.) – similar in some aspects or parts
Example: The company’s situation is analogous to what we experienced before.

5. allegation / ˌæl ɪˈgeɪ ʃən / (n.) – a claim
Example: The government is investigating allegations of corruption about the mayor.


Read the text below.
Two companies that operate onsens, or Japanese-style hot spring resorts, are gaining popularity in China, but for very different reasons.

Gokurakuyu, one of Japan’s largest spa operators, is now among the most successful in China’s spa industry. In 2010, the company announced plans to enter the Chinese market with the help of Chinese partners. It successfully opened its first Chinese facility in 2013.

According to Gokurakuyu’s top management, one of the reasons why the company is successful in China is its high standards for customer service. In addition, the spa offers a wide selection of hot springs, open-air and bubble tubs, and saunas. It also has tanning facilities and restaurants. The promise of an authentic Japanese onsen experience makes Gokurakuyu stand out among its competitors.

On the other hand, while Gokurakuyu is receiving a positive response from its customers in China, another spa operator in China is being criticized for alleged plagiarism.

Tokyo-based spa operator Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari has accused a spa facility in Shanghai of copying its business. The China-based facility, also called Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari, has a similar appearance to the Tokyo-based spa and offers analogous services.

An executive of the Chinese company denied the plagiarism allegations. He claimed that the Japanese company allowed the Shanghai facility to operate under the same name, saying that the Chinese spa has a contract that authorizes it to do so. Furthermore, the executive said that some of the Chinese company’s employees went to the Ooedo-Onsen in Tokyo to observe operations in the spa and receive proper training.  

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think Japanese-style spas are booming in China? Discuss.
·         What do you think is the impact of this trend in Japan?

Discussion B

·         What kind of works or ideas are easy to plagiarize? Why?
·         How can businesses avoid committing plagiarism? 

February 23, 2017