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Today, I want to answer one of the most commonly asked questions in my four plus plus plus years... Plus plus plus?
...of doing YouTube which is: "why do Japanese people wear masks?"
This is probably like my third most frequently asked question after like,
"Why did you learn Japanese?", "How did you get to Japan?", "What's your job in Japan?", etc.
Why do Japanese people wear masks?
Now, there are actually a bunch of reasons.
Right now it is spring in Japan,
although you can't really tell because it's been like snowing.
Snow and cherry blossoms.
And a lot of people here suffer from hay fever.
So in Spring, that is a big reason. You'll see people wearing masks, that's because a lot of Japanese people suffer from hay fever.
Like, really bad.
Like, in my friends there are a lot of people who suffer from hay fever.
Reason number two is reportedly the original reason people wore masks, and that's to do with sickness.
So if you are sick, you wear a mask.
It's kind of a way of protecting the people around you from catching the sickness.
Now, I mean there's argument as to how effective this is, but it is kind of a common courtesy
because people who are sick do tend to go into work, even though they're sick in Japan.
I mean, it's kind of like you just go in until you're told to go home because you're too sick to be there.
But that is how it tends to be done here.
So that is another main reason.
Another one connected to this is people will wear masks to prevent getting sick.
So prevention, uh, particularly on trains, airplanes shinkansen, the bullet trains, and places like that, people will wear masks to protect them from germs.
Whether or not it's effective, it is a main reason people do wear masks here.
And if you can imagine a very crowded Tokyo train and just all those germs flying around, it's enough to make anyone a little bit germphobic.
But there are other reasons for wearing masks, too.
One of them is disguise.
Probably this isn't something you guys will need to do but it is one of the reasons people wear masks, which is just a little extra disguised, particularly if they are celebrities.
And another reason is if you are not wearing makeup, it covers pretty much most of your face.
So if you're not wearing makeup, it's kind of like a lazy day method of covering your face with something else.
When you have a breakout, acne, spots — I just scratched myself, whoops.
Um, just you can put on your mask and cover them up.
And I'm not going to lie, I've done that before.
Another reason that has definitely been debated about online is social anxiety.
Like maybe you don't want people to approach you or talk to you.
Or maybe you're just not feeling confident so you can cover up your face and feel a little bit more secure.
And I can definitely see how this would work being shy myself.
And another reason I found while researching this video was warmth.
People wear it for warmth.
And I thought about that and I was like, "Really?"
But then I thought about how cold it gets in Winter and I can totally understand especially when you're walking outside.
It's very cold, dry air outside.
So warmth is another reason.
I hope that answered the question for you.
Why do Japanese people wear masks?
Recently masks are even becoming more and more of a fashion accessory.
You can buy black masks.
They're quite popular in Harajuku in the moment.
You can buy, uh, like funny masks with little pictures on them.
And you can buy kind of pastel-colored masks.
And you can get masks that have a little aroma infusion in them.
I actually really like those.
So if you're in Japan, I challenge you to try out a mask and see how it goes.
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Why Do Japanese People Wear Masks?

15752 Folder Collection
Samuel published on June 14, 2018    JR.KaTo translated    Evangeline reviewed
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