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Is facial hair frowned upon in Japan?

The History of Facial Hair in Japan

Facial hair has a long and complex history in Japan. For centuries, Japanese men wore beards and mustaches as a symbol of masculinity and power. However, during the Meiji period in the late 19th century, Japan underwent a modernization process that included adopting Western-style clothing and grooming. This meant that facial hair went out of fashion, as it was seen as a symbol of backwardness and old-fashionedness.

The Perception of Facial Hair in Modern Japan

Today, facial hair is still not very popular in Japan. While it is not outright frowned upon, it is generally seen as unconventional and even unprofessional in some settings. This is especially true in the workplace, where many Japanese men are expected to be clean-shaven as a sign of respect and professionalism.

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The Influence of Western Culture on Facial Hair Trends in Japan

In recent years, there has been a growing trend among Japanese men to grow beards and mustaches, particularly among younger generations. This is often attributed to the influence of Western culture, where facial hair has been more widely accepted for decades.

The Relationship between Facial Hair and Masculinity in Japan

In Japan, there is still a strong association between facial hair and masculinity. However, this association is changing as more men opt for clean-shaven looks in order to conform to societal norms.

The Role of Fashion Trends in Facial Hair Acceptance

Fashion trends have played a significant role in the acceptance of facial hair in Japan. In recent years, there has been a rise in popularity of certain styles, such as the “hipster beard,” which has helped to make facial hair more mainstream.

The Impact of Celebrity Culture on Facial Hair Acceptance

Celebrities have also played a role in making facial hair more acceptable in Japan. Many well-known actors and musicians sport beards or mustaches, which has helped to popularize these styles among their fans.

The Importance of Grooming Standards in Japanese Society

Grooming standards are very important in Japanese society, particularly in the workplace. Men are expected to be clean-shaven and well-groomed at all times, which can make it difficult for those who prefer to wear facial hair.

The Perception of Facial Hair Among Women in Japan

The perception of facial hair among women in Japan varies depending on the individual. Some women find it attractive and masculine, while others view it as unkempt or unprofessional.

The Impact of Religion on Facial Hair Acceptance

Religion can also play a role in the acceptance of facial hair in Japan. In some sects of Buddhism and Shintoism, facial hair is seen as a symbol of spiritual enlightenment and is therefore more widely accepted.

The Influence of Traditional Gender Roles on Facial Hair Acceptance

Traditional gender roles also play a role in the acceptance of facial hair in Japan. Men are expected to be masculine and strong, which can be associated with having facial hair. However, women are expected to be feminine and well-groomed, which can make it difficult for men with facial hair to fit into these societal expectations.

The Future of Facial Hair Acceptance in Japan

It is difficult to predict what the future holds for facial hair acceptance in Japan. While there are signs that attitudes towards facial hair are becoming more relaxed, there is still a long way to go before it becomes fully socially acceptable.


Facial hair has had a long and complicated history in Japan. While it may not be outright frowned upon today, there are still many societal expectations that make it difficult for men with facial hair to fit into mainstream Japanese culture. As attitudes towards grooming standards continue to evolve, it will be interesting to see how facial hair acceptance changes over time.

Can Japanese men have facial hair?

In conclusion, it is possible for Japanese men to grow beards, but it is not a common occurrence. Beards are typically viewed as messy and unkempt, so the majority of Japanese men prefer to maintain a clean-shaven appearance.

Were samurai allowed to have facial hair?

In the early Edo period, the samurai were required to shave their heads (known as sakayaki), and by the 1660s, all men, regardless of social class, were prohibited from wearing beards. The sakayaki was made mandatory.

Why do Japanese shave their face?

Japanese women have been using facial shaving techniques to achieve a smooth, hairless complexion that appears fresh and youthful. Although the concept of women shaving their faces may seem unconventional, this traditional beauty practice can now be embraced due to its proven advantages.

Should I shave before Japan?

In Japan, it is common for young females to shave all body hair except for their head and pubic hair. However, for males, only the beard is typically expected to be shaved.

Do Japanese people care about body hair?

The prevalence of hair removal salons for both men and women, and in recent years, even for children in Japan reflects a commonly held belief in Japanese society that hairless bodies look better than hairy ones. In Japanese, body hair is often referred to as ムダ毛 mudage, meaning “unwanted hair.”Apr 12, 2022

What do Japanese think of facial hair?

In many cultures, having a beard can be associated with untidiness or uncleanliness. As a result, Japanese men tend to shave their beards before going out or being in public to maintain a hygienic and neat appearance.

The Rise of Beard Care Products in Japan

As facial hair becomes more popular among younger Japanese men, there has been a corresponding rise in the availability of beard care products. Japanese companies are now producing a variety of beard oils, balms, and waxes to help men keep their facial hair looking neat and well-groomed. This trend shows that there is a growing market for facial hair products in Japan.

Facial Hair as a Form of Self-Expression

Some Japanese men view facial hair as a way to express their individuality and rebel against societal norms. By growing a beard or mustache, they can stand out from the crowd and show that they are not afraid to be different. This is particularly true among younger generations who are more open to alternative forms of self-expression.

The Role of Social Media in Facial Hair Acceptance

Social media has played a significant role in the acceptance of facial hair in Japan. Men can now share photos and videos of themselves with facial hair, which helps to normalize these styles among their followers. This has also led to the creation of online communities where men can connect with each other and share tips on grooming and styling their facial hair.

The Influence of Pop Culture on Facial Hair Trends

Pop culture has also had an impact on facial hair trends in Japan. TV shows, movies, and music videos often feature actors and musicians with beards and mustaches, which helps to make these styles more mainstream. Some Japanese men may even emulate the look of their favorite celebrities in order to feel more fashionable and trendy.

The Importance of Embracing Diversity in Japan

As Japan becomes more diverse, it is important for the country to embrace different forms of self-expression, including facial hair. By accepting people with different grooming styles, Japan can become a more inclusive society that values individuality and personal expression. This will require a shift in societal attitudes towards grooming standards, but it is a necessary step towards a more progressive and accepting society.

The Impact of International Events on Facial Hair Acceptance

International events, such as the World Beard and Moustache Championships, have also had an impact on facial hair acceptance in Japan. These events showcase a wide variety of facial hair styles from around the world, which helps to demonstrate that there is no one “correct” way to groom oneself. By participating in these events, Japanese men can learn about different grooming techniques and styles, which can help to broaden their own perspectives on facial hair.

The Future of Facial Hair Acceptance in Japanese Society

As Japan continues to modernize and become more diverse, it is likely that attitudes towards facial hair will continue to evolve. While it may take some time for facial hair to become fully accepted in all settings, there are signs that change is already happening. With the rise of beard care products, social media communities, and international events, it is clear that there is a growing interest in facial hair among younger generations. As more people embrace different forms of self-expression, including facial hair, Japan has the potential to become a more inclusive and accepting society.

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