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Why Do Japanese Wear Masks?

English Articles

日本語版(Japanese ver.)こちら⬇︎

⚠︎In advance, I’ll be using the phrase “people in – ” in this article, but I don’t mean in a racy way. I’m just using those phrase for an abstract expression. I went to International School and I know about people around the world. Don’t worry. Thanks for your understanding.⚠︎

Asians, love masks.
Americans, love sunglasses.

Today, I want to talk about why there are countries that love wearing masks, and why there are countries that love wearing sunglasses. All in my preferences.

Masks are no-no in America.

If you live in America, I assume you have at least one pair of sunglasses in your purse. Or you change sunglasses every other day. Like you don’t go out without your shoes, you don’t go out without sunglasses neither.

But how about masks? If you see someone wearing a mask, you would probably say to them, “Go home and get rest.” For you, people wearing masks = they’re sick = why are you out? Right? For you guys, you don’t understand why you’re wearing them unless they’re doctors and conducting an operation, or they are the construction guys.

Sunglasses are no-no in Japan.

These days, more people in Japan began to wear sunglasses. I like that. (Except for those who wear sunglasses inside or after the sun is out. I don’t understand them… No offense if you’re one of them.)
But still, there are still Japanese out there who says “Are you trying to be cool?” Or “is that fashion?” Or “Where are you looking at?”. Ugh, I still get those comments. Like, just leave me alone.

On the contrary, if you’re Japanese and not wearing masks and cough, man, people will start saying “wear masks.” Or “don’t spread diseases for Christ sake!” Or “you don’t know how to control your health condition??” (Yeah, Japanese actually say that. I know.) Also, there are some of those who wears masks just because they are not wearing any makeup and don’t want to show it or they just wear them because they keep their face warm. Japanese wear masks like they are their clothes.

But why?

From here, all what I’m going to say is my own opinion. My thoughts.

I think why this happened was because of the difference between the expressions, and the working environment.

Different working environment

As ALL the people in the world know how hard Japanese work. People say we(Japanese) are working ants. Japanese think if they can’t control their physical health, they’re worthless for the company. (A bit dramatic explanation, but 80% truth.) So in order not to catch diseases & not to spread diseases, they’re preferred to wear masks.

But like I said before, foreigners think that if you have to wear masks, you don’t have to work. In other word “stop spreading diseases and just go home and sleep and cure it NOW!!!”

By the way, did you know that there are ants that don’t work? And if you remove the non-working ants, a certain amount of working ants will become non-working ants. Weird, huh?

Different expressions

Japanese express their emotions with their eyes. How wide your mouth is spread open, but your eyes are dead, they will probably think you have some hidden thoughts. Even your mouth is shut, if you have kind soft eyes, they would think you are a happy and nice person. So if the person who you are talking to have sunglasses on, they will start to feel anxious and doubt of your words. I always try to make sure to take off sunglasses when I talk with Japanese.

For foreigners, it’s the completely opposite. Their expressions are usually made from mouth. So if the person who you are talking to covers it with masks, you don’t like it. (They also take REALLY good care of their mouth conditions. Japanese can’t take those whitening substances.) …actually, foreigners express their emotions with their whole muscles on their faces.

Me growing up in Finland as a kid, Japanese people often comment on my expressions. Good or bad.

What do you think?

I know not all Japanese are like that nor Americans. I embrace all the culture and differences between every country. I’m not trying to categorize people into something. I’m trying my best to tell the differences.

I hope you enjoyed reading this.
See you next time! Bye.