Why don't the Japanese have or wear a beard?

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Apparently a beard is not popular in Japan, sometimes not even a mustache. Ever wondered why the Japanese don't have or don't wear beards? Is it why not many hairs are born? Or do they consider it lack of hygiene? In this article I will try to explain everything about beards in Japan.

beard in japan

In Japan they use the word hige [髭] to refer to hair on the face, whether beard or mustache. You can specify if it's a beard or mustache by saying the location before hige. Not even the Japanese language seems to like beards, as the pronunciation hige it is also used in the word self-deprecation [卑下].

By nature, Japanese people don't usually grow a lot of hair, so much so that there are men who never needed to shave. despite Japanese women don't care about shaving their pubic hair, some consider men to have a beard as unhygienic.

Another thing that makes it difficult for men to wear a beard in Japan is the law of many Japanese companies that do not allow the use of beards and the population does not seem interested in fighting this. The fact is that the beard is not considered popular or attractive in Japan, and it can cause a violent and rebellious image.

Why don't the Japanese have or wear a beard?

The history of the beard in Japan

In the past, the beard was seen in Japan as a symbol of power, especially among samurai who wanted to look serious and dangerous. Some samurai even wore fake beards to make a good impression. This is exactly what resulted in the beard's unpopularity.

The hige (beard) represented the fighting spirit of a samurai, when the country became a civil government, wearing a beard meant rebelling against that government. So many samurai of the time shaved their beards and some made a knot or bun behind their heads.

Discrimination increased when they started using the word ketou [毛唐] to refer to foreigners. The Ainu people were also known for wearing mustaches, other high-ranking people after the Meiji era also wore mustaches and beards and even stood out for it. Even in the last century it was not uncommon to find men with beards.

Why don't the Japanese have or wear a beard?

How is the beard viewed in Japan today?

Some celebrities wear beards like contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, Hayao Miyazaki, Hideo Kojima, Sailor Fuku Ojisan [Hideaki Kobayashi], Yamada Takayuki and Jumpei Yasuda. Young people don't usually wear beards because girls don't like this style, they prefer a cute face or standard of male beauty in Japan.

I can say with certainty that there are no negative stigmas regarding beards. Even the Japanese have played with using azuki beans to shave fake beards. The truth is that many Japanese who manage to have a beard, it is because they are descendants of the Ainu or are in their old age and decided not to shave their faces.

Why don't the Japanese have or wear a beard?

Nowadays it is also not rare or wrong to find men with beards, it's just not popular for the simple fact that Japanese genetics doesn't provide a beautiful beard in most people these days. It is also very common to have laser hair removal, which reduces the chances of a Japanese thinking about growing a beard.

These are just aspects of Japanese culture, there is no beard ban in Japan. Even in Brazil the beard is not as popular as in Europe. What's strange is knowing that Japan is a cold country, and beards could warm men's faces. What do you think about this matter?

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