You must have wondered why the Japanese use those surgical masks. This is a common question, and something that surprises everyone who visits the country. In this article we will talk about why the Japanese use surgical masks, and how it all started.
The reasons may seem silly to us, but this is very important there and many people don't leave the house without using them, even though they don't need to be used. This cultural custom of Japan should serve as an example for all countries.
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How did surgical masks become popular in Japan?
The practice only became popular, and seen as necessary, in 2003 after outbreaks of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), Avian Flu and Swine Flu. This must surely have caused a fear in the population, so many began to wear masks when sick to prevent the spread of disease.
The problem is that in this period, masks were scarce, many masks were imported from China. People became afraid of a new outbreak of disease, so they started to stock up on masks and with time wearing these masks became a habit.
Why do Japanese people wear masks?
There are several reasons why the Japanese wear masks, among them the Kafunsho (hay fever), very common in spring because of flower pollen. When you have the flu, it is customary to wear a mask to prevent other people from contaminating themselves with the virus, a great example of Japanese culture that considers the next before yourself.
It is common for people to wear masks even when they are not sick, to avoid getting some kind of disease, especially when you have outbreaks or flu season. Unfortunately in Brazil, we don't do the same thing, some find it ugly, outdated and totally weird. Not to mention that we can make the wrong impression in certain places.
It is noted that this custom is a great sign of respect for others, as the use of the mask prevents the spread of germs and diseases, especially in crowded places such as train stations, shopping malls, etc. Over time we understand the numerous advantages of wearing masks in public and not just in hospitals or quarantine.
In addition to these reasons, there are many other reasons why Japanese people wear surgical masks. See some below:
- Can be used as a fashion trend;
- Protect yourself from the cold;
- Hide imperfections on the face;
- Protect yourself from pollution or radiation;
- The extreme shyness of the Japanese may also be a reason;
- Feel safe and self-confident;
Despite all this, the Japanese sometimes exaggerate the use of these masks, perhaps because they get used to it or because they think they can't walk without them. Children end up using them because of the designs and prints that some masks have, as well as some teenagers, so we realize that the use sometimes fits fashion and style.
Is that you? What do you think of this custom of wearing masks? If you liked the article share it and leave your comments. We also recommend reading: