• Chrisak4298

    I agree whole-hardheartedly with this post. Another recent trending standard of beauty is snaggle teeth. Where Americans are very particular about straight, white teeth, Japanese people- especially girls- are getting surgeries done to purposely have snaggle teeth. I personally dont find it cute. But hey, to each his own.

    Also, I think having thin to no eyebrows is a long standing standard of beauty in Japan. You see it in old art both -painted and performance- and many young people today still shave down their eyebrows, even men!

    • thejapanguy

      OOOH! Nice! Yaeba culture, huh? I’ve heard about women getting surgery to make their teeth crooked because it’s considered cute. Can’t say I really like it either. But somebody does! Otherwise people wouldn’t be having those kinds of procedures done. I feel you on the eyebrows, too.

      Good stuff, Chris!! :D

    • Vosche Voschie

      some of these alterations and the reason behind them is downright disturbing..

      snaggleteeth is a trait of a youth say between 10 and 16 if not addressed by a dentist. most adults don’t have this issue and those that do have it have it corrected at some point as it creates other dental issues if left untreated.

      this is the same thing as adult women dressing up school girl short skirts and button up shirts and calling it a fantasy when its a fetish that points to preferring young women over older .

      but it gets creepier when it also makes it look as japanese men could also be into child molestation.

    • Diane Kim

      Yeah so many Japanese do plastic surgery. Both men and women

  • Hiro

    Great article dude.
    I think that’s true in many Asian countries (Korea, Vietnam…). Keep a very clear skin color is important for women. Here in Vietnam it’s the same, they use a face mask and gloves to protect themselves from the sun.
    For the length of the legs it is also the same, and many young women are being operated (cut legs) to gain 10 cm !!!
    All the best ;)

  • Alex21

    Hi there !

    Nice article indeed !
    I had a request to push forward the beauty consideration in Japan.
    Could you tell us, according to your conversations with Japanese woman, what are the main features that western men do possess and Japanese don’t, that make the difference for Japanese women ?
    Thanks, and sorry about the clumsy way I put my question, I’m not a native ;)


    • thejapanguy

      Great question, Alex21.

      I was thinking about that as I was writing, too. Funny enough, some of the very same standards hold for men, except I think there’s a whole lot more leeway on many of the factors depending on the dating/relationship dynamic. I think if someone is dating for marriage in Japan, you can throw so many of these out of the window if a man is a reliable guy with a steady income.

      But just talking raw attractiveness, a lot of the same things apply high bridge, big eyes, sometimes white skin. As far as bodies go, I think it some many ways it can go. Some women like muscles, some women don’t, some women like a bit of pudge, some don’t. Please stay tuned, because I know I’m going to have to do a follow-up on post on this very subject! :)

  • kurt

    During my trips throughout Asia I was offered explanations of why Asian women like milky white skin, and the recurring bit was darker, tanned skin indicated lower class and working outside. For the same reason ladies would exercise but go to great lengths not to get ‘lumpy’….muscular…in any way. That too meant you spent time in the fields, laboring. Now the good news! A man with a bit of a paunch is looked upon as well to do, because he has others doing the manual labor for him. A Japanese lady named Narita (we called her Airport-san) poked at my boss’s rather ample belly once and squealed ‘You must be verrry happy!’ Yay!

    • thejapanguy

      Always good to hear from you, Kurt! I remember reading something similar in the book “Shogun.” The entire concept is just so interesting to me. I didn’t really know about he “ample belly,” though. Thanks for some new insights. Good stuff, bro!

    • Vosche Voschie

      light vs dark skin, slim vs heavy ..all to do with wealth..just like it was in european societies and just like it is today everywhere else…again many of these so called preference are up for negotiation/compromise when it comes to forming relationships leading to something more serious than dating.

  • I’m new to this blog and would just like to say how much I’m enjoying reading your posts. You are a talented writer and story-teller. I hope one of these days you will turn the best Japan Guy posts into a book.
    Here’s my two cents’ worth:

    1. light/white skin – Yes, Japanese women go to great lengths to protect their skin from the sun. You can always tell if someone is from the countryside – their skin is tanned and crinkly from working in the fields, even though women from the country also try to cover up with hats, scarves, gloves, etc. Japanese also tend to develop large age-spots on their skin, so covering up helps minimise those, as well.
    2. high-bridged nose – A small, narrow, high-bridged nose is considered to be a characteristic of the upper classes (as opposed to, say, commoners or peasants).
    3. small/slim face – Yes, for the same reason as #2. Japanese (and Native American) babies have the biggest cheeks in the world, so it’s funny that the small, slender face is so admired when they grow up.
    4. thin/petite – the slender, petite figure is considered more graceful. Also, the curvy, hourglass figure would not look good in kimono, which are cut in straight lines and so do not accommodate curves. The Japanese figure (both male and female) is broad from the front, usually with wide, angular shoulders and wide ribcage, but narrow when viewed from the side. Again, this figure looks best in kimono and karate-gi, etc. I read that standard sizing of Japanese judo-gi is such that the jacket is one size larger than the pants. Apparently, this is a problem for Westerners, who prefer the two garments to be the same size. I can only guess that the Japanese size them the way they do to accommodate their wide shoulders and ribcages. If you can find any information about this, please let us know (more random trivia with which to impress your friends).
    5. curly eyelashes – I don’t know about this one, but I would hazard a guess that most Japanese have straight eyelashes. Mixed- race Japanese often have gorgeous, long, even curl, eyelashes.
    6. double eyelid – It’s sad that they go to the extreme of having eyelid surgery. And in the West, those “cat eyes” are considered exotic and attractive!
    7. long legs—Most Japanese don’t have long legs, and they often bow out at the knees. Some people would argue that it’s because they squat a lot, others would argue that the trait developed to allow them to squat easily. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? There is also the question of “thigh gap” that has been making the rounds in US media. For most Japanese, thigh gap is a given; it’s a genetic trait, and if you don’t have it, you don’t have it.
    8. polite personality—Perhaps a better word would be “gracious”, which encompasses much more than mere politeness, which is, of course, a necessary part of graciousness. An abrasive, harsh, loud personality is definitely considered unattractive.

    I would add the following two traits that we were taught to cultivate:
    1. high-pitched voice – the gravelly Lauren Bacall voice is not considered attractive, and Japanese women make an effort to raise their voices to a higher pitch, especially when they are speaking with someone in a position of authority or of a higher social standing.
    2. grace – physical awkwardness, clumsiness, and any movement or mannerism that looks remotely masculine is frowned upon, for instance, a woman should never move anything with her foot, even if her arms are full. We were always told growing up to not be “heta-heta”. The thin, petite figure comes across as more graceful, assuming, of course, that she is not a complete klutz.

    • Diane Kim

      95percent of Japanese celebs have undergone in plastic surgery

      • TruthHurts

        100% of Korean celebrities, and non celebrities (80%) have gone numerous plastic surgeries! In Japan rates are dropping since 2009! While in Korea people are starting to even do jaw surgeries.

    • VistaOS

      - First of all, lighter/fair skin isn’t always a good idea. A tan skin is less likely to get skin cancer or melanoma cancer. Absorbing sunlight is good for you, it increases Vitamin D in your body lowering chances of getting Diabetes it also fights other types of cancers, increases bone density therefore protects from fractures and bone degradation as you age. It’s okay to have a light/fair skin, that is if you live in colder areas that has more winter than spring or summer. But having no tan in hot or sunny areas is similar to suicide, people should really learn to accept the way they are and stop going through risky procedures like plastic surgery and many other things just in order to get attention – as soon as you get sick those people will be laughing at you, than you’ll wish that you’d never had the attention to begin with.

  • AndyC

    I just found your blog. I taught English in France, Korea, and Vietnam. Japan would have been cool to try. Another thing with the skin is prevention of wrinkles. I think pretty much all races will get wrinkles faster if they stay out in the sun a lot. When I was in Vietnam I made sure to cover up with a mask and hood whenever I went out on my motorcycle. Nice blog.

    How is teaching in Japan? I was at a bad school in Korea. Are schools honest in Japan? Or does it just depend on the school sometimes?

    • thejapanguy

      Andy! I truly appreciate you taking the time to comment! You’re right about being in the sun causing wrinkles over time, regardless of the race. Thanks for the compliment :)

      I think I’ve been lucky to have been placed at good schools while teaching here. I really have enjoyed the teaching experience here. I’m starting to get into other work these days, to be honest, but my teaching days are a fond memory. But I feel you on that. The school you land can make a tremendous difference.

  • TokyoNightOwl

    There’s also the umbrella girls in summer. A clear sunny day and…an umbrella. Gotta keep that skin as white as the teeth!

    Also- one more to add: voice tone (pitch). The higher the octave, the hotter the girl. Japanese Fact.

    • thejapanguy

      Great examples, night owl. I like umbrellas over the clothing that covers every part of the body during the summer. It looks sooooooo freakin’ hot!

  • Ella

    What if you have light skin and freckles? On a girl.

    • thejapanguy

      Good question Ella. I’m really not sure how freckles are viewed here, but I think they’re the cutest thing!!
      I have a hunch that Japanese people would freckles and light skin on a foreigner are beautiful.

    • coco

      I’m afraid freckles are somewhat frowned upon as just like the tanning
      thing it indicates sun damage or too much time outside. This is just a
      generalization I’m sure many Japanese people don’t mind them or think
      freckles are very cute indeed!

      • Taysha Coughlin

        what if you’re a dark red ginger ? but like super pasty and you have small light golden freckles ,and they’re also only on your face and arms ?

        is it only a certain type of freckles ? is there a niche of ginger loving Asians ?

        I’m quarter japanese and am considering moving there eventually .

  • Brenton Stewart

    Absolutely Spot on.

    • thejapanguy

      Hahaha! Thanks, Brenton

  • J

    This article totally overlooks stuff like kuro gyaru. Young Japanese girls find darker skin pretty damn cool.

    • thejapanguy

      Nice! I’ve heard of the kuro gyaru thing, too. I really think I depends. I haven’t come across many women in the areas, I’ve lived in that are as big on themselves having darker skin. But I have come across more here in Tokyo than when I was living up in Ibaraki. Thanks for sharing, J.

    • Bizmu

      Ganguro is pretty niche, even for Japan. It’s not exactly “standard” like how this article is titled. Many girls with ganguro style who are reaching mid-adulthood will ditch this persona because it’s deem not very acceptable in their corporate culture.

  • Ming

    Hello! Just came across your blog, and the standards you mention here is similar across Asia. I’m sure it’s partly because of Japan’s soft power and awesome cosmetic marketing programs; maybe these standards are also influenced by Western cosmetics marketing as well.

    Some comments mentioned vocal pitch, and I do find myself automatically speaking in a higher pitch when I converse in Japanese. My classmates and I did an experiment back when I was in school and we found that even the men raised their pitch slightly when they spoke in Japanese, although not as obvious a change as the ladies. Somehow, the notion that the language needs to be spoken in a higher tone came across to students learning Japanese as a foreign language.

    There was also a period a few years ago, when having a hairless
    body (“tsuru-tsuru”) was considered attractive, even for men. Not sure whether this still holds now, though.

  • JoJoNaNa2000

    I ‘m not going to Japan… I hate being called ugly…

    I knew there was a reason why I never saw black people in anime… But Hey…

    • Shan

      You’re pretty. I know of Black women who when Japanese see them can’t help but to shriek ‘kawaii!’ Kids always saying beautiful!! They may prefer one thing but can’t help themselves when faced with real beauty.

    • Diane Kim

      Don’t worry. Plastic surgery is super big in Japan. You are natural. Be proud of yourself.

  • Interesting.
    Specially the nose part.

    I enjoyed the article.


    • Diane Kim

      Plastic surgery is essencial for them

  • james1452

    hey im james from korea.
    i don’t care about stander but i i think japanese are most beautiful on planet.


  • thalia

    I visited Japan over 10 yrs ago, for 3 month. During that time I heared many times tohe frases:
    you have sooooo big eyes!
    you have soo white skin! (I do have white skin, and actually VERY white skin) people even appreached me on the streets and wanted to touch my white skin.
    you have soooo big breasts! (larger than normal)
    you have soo light hair! (even though my hair are not blond, they are light brown I’d say)

    So all the things you mentioned in your blog, they are true, but you have totally left out the hair part. I noticed, that many Japanese people (men and women) like to bleach their hair. To me that was not blond, but foxy red. Looked quite odd to me, nut they found it attractive and pretty. So when I looked around in the shops, I discovered why it looked reddish or yellowish – they didn’t have hair colours that were ash toned. All the blonde colours were yellowish toned. I remember a Russian friend of mine, who couldn’t find the right hair colour and her mother sent her packages from Russia with the right ash-toned blonde :D

    And the skinny part.. I think that this is popular, cause many Japanese men have fetish of child looking body. Remember the schoolgirl fetishes? I think that explaines the skinny part. Though there are certainly very many men who are into the hourglass shape. As I have that shape, I can tell that I was very popular because of that. And well, I have been around the world quite a lot, and that hourglass shape stops men on the streets everywhere…

    The eyelid part was very surprising to me aswell. Seeing wires sold, to get the second layer on your eye, just made me wonder, what’s next… :D

    About curly eyelashes. Perhaps you don’t know but a certain eyelash extension fasion probably started from Japan aswell. It goes like this – a technitian glues curly false lash on your own lash, one by one. So you can get longer, thicker, curlier lashes for a whole month. Than you must go back to the technitian to get a refill. Nowadays they have gone even further – now they glue small false lash fans on one eyelash. That means that they build up a small fake lash fan consisting of 3-10 lashes and then that is glued on your own ONE lash. This procedure goes on and on, as you get a full set on your eyes. This procedure is quite popular in northern Europe (as they have mostly short, light and straight lashes too) and in Russia. The eyelash curler you pointed out (on the pic) is sold all over the world and it has been popular for ages! ;) As I work in the beauty industry, I know. Fuller lashes are concidered beautyful all over the world, and women do it every day. Its just that most of them do it in their own home, not in the trains :D
    A few links about the lash extension aswell:

    And something else for you to discover are the eyebrows. Women like to change them aswell very much all over the world. The get them tattooed and a new trend is microblading for eyebrows (that is done by a skalpel!) :P

    Enjoy! :)

    • Diane Kim

      That’s why all most every Japanese did eyelids surgery


    And, those are the characteristics chinese and southeast asians don’t and will never have….. Koreans are close…
    Japanese are simply the most beautiful girls on earth….

    • disigny

      And what of the claimed recent discovery that Japan was populated mostly by immigrants from Korea? But then, you might still be right if “Culture” has over ruled Genetics.

    • Diane Kim

      95percent of Japanese celebs have undergone in plastic surgery.

      • Disqus-sion

        Japanese ?? no kidding ? Perhaps, you mean Korean and Chinese ?? LOL

    • Diane Kim

      There are so many Korean celebrities.

      • USUSUS

        I knew you was a horean! The main reason you trying to talk down about Japanese woman, doing plastic surgery, look at your nation, it was put almost in top of most ugly people in the world rates! Than you can talk about Japan! While they stop even doing double eyelid surgery, and now using some kind of ‘magic tap’! You are desperate, the way you trying to post ugly Korean celebrity pictures with surgeries here, and way you try to tell everybody how fake Japan is, stay jealous, you’ll die as one too , loser.

  • Kyoko

    Do these apply to a japanese american? Are japanese americans viewed differently than other foreigners?

  • Miho2552

    The curly eyelashes standard applies everywhere. I’m American, born and raised in Wisconsin, and lots of women here use eyelash curlers ^^ They are as horrifying as they look, I cut my eyelashes off with one of those once, never used it again.

  • Emma

    Hey, just a heads up, an article on the site Japan Info plagiarized off of this article. You can see it here: http://jpninfo.com/22183

    • Diane Kim


      You can see this article, too

    • Diane Kim

      Plastic surgery is super big in Japan
      95 percent

  • Darryl

    Any thoughts on exchange program for my 14 year old daughter? She is studying Japanese. Thanks

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