Why do Japanese people wear surgical masks?

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You may have wondered why the Japanese wear 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 Japanese people wear surgical masks, and how it all started.

The reasons may seem silly to us, but this is very important there and many people do not leave the house without using them, even if they are not necessary. This cultural custom in Japan should serve as an example for all countries.

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 certainly must have caused fear in the population, so many people started wearing masks when sick to prevent the proliferation of diseases.

The problem is that during this period, masks became scarce, many masks were imported from China. People were afraid of a new outbreak of diseases, so they started to stock the masks and with time the use of these masks became a habit.

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What is the reason for the Japanese to wear masks?

There are several reasons why Japanese people wear masks, among them the Kafunsho (hay fever), very common in spring because of pollen from flowers. When you have the flu, it is customary to use the mask to prevent others from becoming infected with the virus, a great example of Japanese culture that considers others before itself.

It is common for people to wear masks even when they are not sick, so as to avoid catching any type of illness, especially when they have outbreaks or during the flu season. Unfortunately in Brazil, we don't do the same thing, some find it ugly, out of fashion and totally strange. Not to mention that we can make a wrong impression in certain places.

It is noted that this custom is a great sign of respect for others, since the use of the mask prevents the spread of germs and diseases, especially in places of great agglomeration such as train stations, shopping centers, etc. Over time we understand the many advantages of using masks in public and not just in hospitals or quarantine.
Why do Japanese people wear surgical masks?

In addition to these reasons, there are many other reasons why Japanese people wear surgical masks. See some below:

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  • It can be used as a fashion trend;
  • Protect yourself from the cold;
  • Hide imperfections in the face;
  • Protect yourself from pollution or radiation;
  • The extreme shyness of the Japanese can also be a reason;
  • Feeling safe and self-confident;

Despite all this, the Japanese sometimes exaggerate in the use of these masks, perhaps because they get used to it or because they think they cannot walk without them. Children end up using it because of the designs and prints that some masks have, as well as some teenagers, so we realize that the use sometimes fits in fashion and style.

Is that you? What do you think of this custom of wearing masks? If you liked the article, share and leave your comments. We also recommend reading: