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What were the beauty standards in ancient Japan?


Ancient Japanese culture is rich with beauty standards that have influenced the way people see beauty today. The ancient Japanese viewed beauty as a way of living and not just a physical appearance. Beauty was a reflection of one’s inner self, personality, and character. This article will explore the beauty standards in ancient Japan and how they have impacted the beauty industry today.

The Importance of Skin Care

The ancient Japanese believed that healthy skin was the foundation of beauty. They practiced cleaning their skin regularly and used natural ingredients like rice bran, camellia oil, and green tea to moisturize and protect it. They also avoided excessive exposure to the sun and used parasols to shield themselves from its harmful rays.

Japanese Snack Box

The Role of Hair in Beauty

In ancient Japan, hair was considered an important aspect of beauty. Women wore their hair long and styled it in intricate designs that were symbolic of their social status. Men also took great care of their hair and used oils to keep it shiny and healthy.

The Significance of Makeup

Makeup was an essential part of ancient Japanese beauty standards. Women used white powder on their face to create a flawless complexion, while men used black eyeliner to enhance their eyes. They also used natural ingredients like red safflower petals to create lip color.

The Importance of Clothing

Clothing played a significant role in ancient Japanese beauty standards. Women wore kimonos made from silk or cotton, which were adorned with intricate designs that reflected their social status. Men wore traditional clothing like hakama pants and haori jackets, which were also decorated with elaborate designs.

The Significance of Posture

Posture was considered an important aspect of beauty in ancient Japan. Women were taught to walk with small steps and keep their back straight, while men were taught to stand tall and maintain a strong stance.

The Role of Accessories

Accessories were an essential part of ancient Japanese beauty standards. Women wore hairpins, combs, and jewelry made from precious metals like gold and silver. Men used swords as a symbol of their social status.

The Importance of Etiquette

Etiquette played a significant role in ancient Japanese beauty standards. Women were taught to be polite and respectful, while men were taught to be brave and honorable. These qualities were considered attractive and desirable.

The Role of Perfume

Perfume was another important aspect of ancient Japanese beauty standards. Women used natural ingredients like sandalwood, jasmine, and lavender to create fragrances that reflected their personality and character.

The Significance of Teeth

Teeth were considered an important aspect of beauty in ancient Japan. People practiced good dental hygiene by brushing their teeth regularly with charcoal powder. They also used gold or silver teeth covers as a symbol of wealth and social status.

The Influence on Modern Beauty Standards

The ancient Japanese beauty standards have had a significant influence on modern-day beauty standards. Many skincare products today use natural ingredients like green tea or rice bran, which were popular among the ancient Japanese. Hairstyles like the top knot or chonmage are still seen as fashionable today.


In conclusion, the ancient Japanese took great care in maintaining their physical appearance as a reflection of their inner selves. Their emphasis on natural ingredients, posture, etiquette, and grooming practices have influenced modern-day beauty standards around the world. Understanding these beauty standards can help us appreciate the rich cultural heritage of Japan while inspiring us to adopt healthier lifestyle habits for ourselves.

What was the beauty standard in Japan?

What are the common modern Japanese beauty standards? Modern Japanese beauty standards tend toward light, flawless skin, a slim, petite figure, slender legs, and a quiet personality—although those “standards” change over time and may be largely ignored by future generations.Nov 15, 2022

What were the beauty standards in Edo Japan?

Showing-off a pristine white skin was an important aim for women in the Edo period, with white powder always applied to the face, neck, and back of the neck. Whiteness was considered to be the first point for consideration in a woman’s beauty.Oct 27, 2020

What were the beauty standards in the Taisho period?

The Taisho period (1912-1926) saw an increase in the role of women which resulted in a change in beauty standards from a pristine, white complexion to a more natural look. With more women joining the workforce, they desired cosmetics that were easy to apply and highlighted their natural beauty.

What were the beauty standards in the Asuka period?

Asuka (592-710) & Nara Period (710–794) The beauty standard in this period was chubby, almond eyes, thick eyebrows, and a small mouth. The first face powder (おしろい oshiroi) and lipstick (口紅 kuchibeni) were brought from the Sui Dynasty.Jan 25, 2023

What is considered skinny in Japan?

Based on their Body Mass Index (BMI), there are considerably more Japanese women in their 20s who are categorized as being underweight (BMI below 18.5) than those who are considered overweight (BMI over 25). This data was reported on March 16, 2017.

Why is white skin considered beautiful in Japan?

Japanese women have believed that having a fair complexion is equal to being beautiful, dating back to ancient times. This belief is so ingrained that there is a saying that suggests that this color can mask any flaw.

Additionally, the ancient Japanese also placed a strong emphasis on inner beauty. They believed that true beauty came from one’s character, personality, and actions. This meant that kindness, humility, and respectfulness were highly valued traits in both men and women.

Furthermore, the ancient Japanese believed in the concept of wabi-sabi, which is the acceptance of imperfection and finding beauty in simplicity. This philosophy can be seen in traditional Japanese art, such as pottery and calligraphy.

In modern times, Japanese beauty standards continue to have a significant impact on the beauty industry. Japanese skincare products are popular around the world for their use of natural ingredients and gentle formulas. The minimalist approach to makeup and fashion has also become increasingly popular in recent years.

Overall, the ancient Japanese beauty standards were rooted in a holistic approach to beauty that focused on both inner and outer qualities. By embracing these values, we can cultivate a healthier and more balanced approach to beauty that extends beyond physical appearance.

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