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Is circumcision big in Japan?


Circumcision is one of the most debated topics in the world, with various cultures and countries having different opinions regarding the practice. In Japan, however, circumcision is not widely practiced, with only a small percentage of men opting for the procedure. This article aims to explore and provide an in-depth understanding of circumcision in Japan.

History of Circumcision in Japan

Circumcision was rarely practiced in Japan until the Meiji period (1868-1912), when it was introduced as a medical practice by Western doctors. The procedure was mainly used to treat phimosis, a condition where the foreskin is too tight and cannot be retracted. However, after World War II, circumcision became less popular in Japan due to its association with the American occupation.

Japanese Snack Box

Medical Reasons for Circumcision in Japan

In Japan, circumcision is primarily performed for medical reasons such as phimosis or recurrent balanitis (inflammation of the glans penis). According to a study conducted in 2016, only 1.7% of Japanese men are circumcised for non-medical reasons such as religious or cultural beliefs.

Religious Circumcision in Japan

Japan has several religions such as Shintoism, Buddhism, and Christianity. However, none of these religions require male circumcision as a fundamental practice. Therefore, religious circumcision is not prevalent in Japan.

Cultural Views on Circumcision in Japan

Circumcision is not an essential aspect of Japanese culture. Therefore, Japanese people do not attach much significance to it. The majority of Japanese men do not undergo circumcision since it is not part of their culture or tradition.

The Cost of Circumcision in Japan

In Japan, the cost of circumcision varies depending on the hospital or clinic where it is performed. On average, the cost ranges from ¥200,000 to ¥300,000 (approximately $1,800 to $2,700 USD). This high cost may explain why many men choose not to undergo the procedure.

Circumcision vs. Non-Circumcision in Japan

The decision to circumcise or not is a personal choice that varies from person to person. However, there are some differences between circumcised and uncircumcised men in terms of hygiene and sexual function. Circumcised men may have better genital hygiene and a lower risk of certain infections, while uncircumcised men may have more sensitivity during sex.

Controversies Surrounding Circumcision in Japan

While circumcision is not a contentious issue in Japan, there are still some controversies surrounding the practice. Some people argue that it is a cosmetic procedure that infringes on human rights while others believe that it reduces sexual pleasure.

Circumcision Rates in Other Countries

Circumcision rates vary greatly around the world depending on cultural and religious beliefs. In some countries like the United States and Israel, circumcision rates are high while they are low in countries like Japan and Europe.

Alternative Procedures to Circumcision

There are alternative procedures that can be done instead of circumcision for treating conditions such as phimosis. These procedures include preputioplasty (surgical widening of the foreskin) and topical steroid creams.

Future of Circumcision in Japan

Given that circumcision is not widespread or part of Japanese culture, it is unlikely that it will become more popular in the future unless there are significant changes to attitudes towards the practice.


In conclusion, circumcision is not big in Japan due to several factors such as cultural views, religion, medical reasons and cost. While there are some controversies surrounding the practice, it remains a personal choice that varies from person to person.

Why do Japanese men circumcised?

While male circumcision is commonly used as a preventative measure against disease, in Japanese culture it is marketed as a way to regain control over one’s body and boost self-esteem.

What country has the most circumcision?

Rates of a certain issue vary greatly across different countries, with Israel and several Muslim-majority nations reporting rates over 90%, South Korea reporting 86.3%, the United States reporting 80%, Australia reporting 58%, South Africa reporting 45%, the United Kingdom reporting 20.7%, and Japan and Honduras reporting rates under 1%.

What cultures don’t get circumcised?

Circumcision is a common practice in the United States, Southeast Asia, and Africa, but not in Europe, Latin America, or most of Asia. Countries where English is the primary language, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand tend to have a higher preference for circumcision as a personal choice.

Are the royal family circumcised?

It is evident that the British royal family does not have a history of circumcision. Even if Prince Charles and George V’s sons were circumcised, it was not because Queen Victoria believed she was descended from King David or due to a family tradition introduced by George I.

Are Korean men circumcised?

The practice of circumcision in South Korea has been influenced by American culture, but it has not been mostly performed on newborns. Instead, the age at which circumcision is done has been decreasing, and boys are now circumcised at around 12 years old.

Why are Japanese men not circumcised?

Castro-Vazquez argues that circumcision in Japan is not rooted in religious or medical factors, but instead is influenced by biomedical practices that aim to improve and manipulate the physical body through medical intervention.

It is worth noting that the World Health Organization recommends male circumcision as a way to reduce the risk of HIV infection in areas with high rates of the disease. However, this recommendation has not been widely implemented in Japan due to the low prevalence of HIV in the country.

In recent years, there has been a growing movement in Japan towards natural childbirth and parenting practices, which includes a preference for leaving newborns intact. This movement has led to increased awareness of the benefits of keeping the foreskin and a decrease in the number of circumcisions performed on infants.

Despite the low rate of circumcision in Japan, some Japanese men may choose to undergo the procedure for personal reasons, such as aesthetic preferences or cultural influences from other countries. However, it is important for individuals to carefully consider all factors before making a decision and to consult with a medical professional.

Overall, circumcision remains a topic of debate and personal choice in Japan, with cultural, religious, medical, and financial factors influencing the decision-making process. As attitudes towards the practice continue to evolve and change, it will be interesting to see how circumcision rates in Japan may shift in the future.

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