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Can you have a mustache in Japan?


In Japan, there are various social norms and cultural practices that differ from other parts of the world. One of the concerns for foreigners visiting or living in Japan is whether they can keep their mustache or not. This article will explore whether having a mustache is acceptable in Japan or not.

Historical context

In ancient Japan, facial hair was a symbol of masculinity and status. Samurai warriors grew mustaches to show their courage and power. However, during the Meiji era, Japan underwent westernization and adopted new standards of beauty and grooming, which included shaving off facial hair.

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Cultural perceptions

In modern-day Japan, having a beard or mustache is still considered unconventional and often associated with delinquents or rebels. However, the perception is slowly changing as more young Japanese men embrace facial hair as a fashion statement.

Professional settings

In professional settings such as schools, government offices, and some companies, there are strict dress codes that prohibit facial hair. Men are expected to appear clean-shaven and well-groomed to maintain a professional image.

Entertainment industry

In the entertainment industry, having a mustache is seen as trendy and fashionable. Many male celebrities in Japan sport mustaches as part of their signature look.

Religious beliefs

Some religions in Japan encourage men to grow beards or mustaches as a sign of piety. For example, followers of Shintoism believe that facial hair helps them connect with nature and honor their ancestors.

Hygiene concerns

One reason why facial hair is frowned upon in Japan is because it is associated with poor hygiene. In a culture where cleanliness is highly valued, having unkempt facial hair can be perceived as unclean.

Personal preferences

Ultimately, whether or not to have a mustache in Japan depends on personal preferences and lifestyle choices. If you work in a professional setting, it might be best to adhere to dress code policies. If you are an artist or musician, having a mustache might enhance your image.

Grooming tips

If you decide to grow a mustache in Japan, it’s essential to keep it well-groomed and maintained. Regular trimming and shaping can help prevent negative perceptions associated with unkempt facial hair.


In conclusion, having a mustache in Japan is not illegal nor culturally insensitive; however, it might not be welcomed in some professional settings or conservative communities. It’s essential to understand cultural norms and expectations before making any grooming decisions.

Additional Resources:


Is facial hair OK in Japan?

In Japanese workplaces, beards are often considered unprofessional because they are not commonly seen among Japanese people. This may be due to the perception that beards can appear messy, and many companies in Japan aim to maintain a polished image for their customers.

Which country has best moustache?

In Indian culture, moustaches are highly valued and viewed as a symbol of masculinity. Additionally, an Indian individual holds the Guinness World Record for the longest moustache, which was measured to be 12.5 feet in 2004.

What is the rule for mustache?

To style a mustache, it should cover part of the upper lip but not go into the mouth. Use scissors designed for beard trimming to trim longer hairs. Trim the edges of the mustache so they don’t extend past the corners of the mouth. These steps will ensure a well-groomed appearance.

Do samurai have mustaches?

Samurai warriors typically grew all three types of facial hair – beards, mustaches, and goatees. The more thick and wild their facial hair was, the more people believed them to be powerful.

Do Japanese girls like men with facial hair?

An unusual survey* found that almost 85% of Japanese women aged between 20 and 39 have a dislike for men who have beards.

Do Japanese girls shave public hair?

In Japan, it is common for people to shave their faces, arms, legs, and pubic areas, and those with hair in their pubic region are often seen as attractive. As Japan has become more influenced by Western culture, this practice has become more widely accepted in the country.

Regional differences

It’s worth noting that attitudes towards facial hair can vary by region in Japan. For example, in some rural areas, having a beard or mustache is more commonplace and accepted. In contrast, in urban areas like Tokyo, it may be more unusual to see men with facial hair. So if you’re planning to live or travel to Japan, it’s essential to consider the local culture and customs of the specific area you’ll be visiting.

International influence

As Japan becomes more globalized, there is an increasing influence from Western cultures on fashion and grooming. This trend has led to more young Japanese men experimenting with different facial hair styles, including mustaches. So while having a mustache may not be considered mainstream in Japan yet, it’s becoming more widely accepted.

Gender expectations

It’s important to note that societal expectations around facial hair tend to be different for men and women. While it’s generally acceptable for men to have facial hair in Japan, it’s still considered taboo for women to have visible facial hair. Women who choose to grow out their facial hair may face discrimination or negative reactions from others.

Cultural sensitivity

If you’re a foreigner living in Japan and choose to grow a mustache, it’s crucial to be aware of cultural sensitivities around grooming and appearance. For example, it’s considered polite to cover up tattoos or piercings in public settings. Similarly, being mindful of grooming habits and dressing appropriately can show respect for Japanese cultural norms and help you navigate social situations more comfortably.

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