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Why do Japanese say you have 3 faces?


Japanese culture is unique and fascinating, and one of the most interesting aspects is their belief in having three faces. This concept can be confusing for outsiders, but it holds a deep meaning in Japanese society. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this belief and its significance in Japanese culture.

The Three Faces

According to the Japanese, every person has three faces: the first face is the one you show to the world, the second is the one you show to your close friends and family, and the third is the one that nobody knows but yourself. These three faces represent different levels of intimacy and trust, and they reflect how people interact with each other in Japanese culture.

Japanese Snack Box

Cultural Significance

Understanding this concept is essential for anyone who wants to understand Japanese culture. In Japan, social harmony is highly valued, and people are expected to act appropriately in different situations. Having three faces allows people to adapt to different social contexts while maintaining a sense of inner self.

The First Face

The first face is the most visible one, and it represents how people want to be perceived by others. In Japan, there is a strong emphasis on politeness and respect, so people often present a formal and reserved image in public. This face is also associated with professional relationships, where people are expected to maintain a certain level of decorum.

The Second Face

The second face is the one that people show to their close friends and family. It represents a more relaxed and informal side of the person’s personality. This face is associated with personal relationships, where people can be more open and honest with each other.

The Third Face

The third face is the most private one, and it represents a person’s innermost thoughts and feelings. This face is rarely shown to others, as it requires a high level of trust and intimacy. In Japan, people are expected to keep their emotions under control in public, so this face is particularly important for expressing emotions that are not socially acceptable.

The Importance of Balance

Having three faces allows people to balance their public image with their personal identity. It also helps them navigate different social situations without compromising their sense of self. In Japan, there is a strong emphasis on maintaining harmony and avoiding conflict, so having multiple faces can be seen as a way to avoid confrontation.

Challenges of Having Three Faces

While having three faces can be beneficial in many ways, it can also be challenging for some people. For example, if someone has difficulty expressing their true feelings, they may struggle to show their second or third face. Alternatively, if someone has trouble adapting to different social contexts, they may find it difficult to switch between their different faces.

Examples in Popular Culture

The concept of having three faces has been widely portrayed in Japanese popular culture. For example, in the anime series Naruto, one of the main characters wears a mask to hide his true identity. The mask represents his third face, which he only shows to his closest friends.


Overall, the concept of having three faces reflects the complex nature of human identity in Japanese culture. By understanding this concept, we can gain insight into how Japanese society values social harmony and personal identity. While it may seem confusing at first, the idea of having three faces ultimately helps people navigate social situations with grace and authenticity.



Is it true that we have 3 faces?

According to the phrase, humans have three different aspects of beauty. The first face represents how we present ourselves to strangers, while the second face shows how we behave around our loved ones. The third face is our most personal and private side, which we only reveal to ourselves.

What are the 3 personality masks?

We have three different faces that we present to the world. The first is a diplomatic and polished face that we show to the public. The second is a slightly less curated version of ourselves that we show to our loved ones. Finally, the third face is the one that we keep hidden from everyone else and is the most accurate representation of who we truly are.

What is the Japanese myth face?

The noppera-bō is a yōkai from Japan that resembles a human but has no face. It is often confused with the mujina, which is an old term for a badger or raccoon dog. While mujina can change their appearance, noppera-bō typically take on human form in their disguises.

What is the Japanese myth about your face and love?

According to a Japanese legend, your current appearance is the same as the person you loved the most in your previous life. Although it may not be true, the idea is still beautiful.

What is the point where 3 faces meet?

A vertex refers to the point where three or more faces come together.

What is the most rarest face?

The diamond face shape is slightly more common than the pear face shape, but both are considered uncommon. This information was reported on January 19, 2023.

How the Concept of Three Faces Can Be Applied in Other Cultures

The concept of having three faces can be applied in other cultures as well. While the specific details may differ, many societies also value social harmony and personal identity. By understanding the different faces that people present, we can gain a deeper appreciation for their complexity and adaptability.

In Western culture, for example, people often talk about having a “public” face and a “private” face. The public face represents how people want to be seen by others, while the private face represents their true feelings and emotions. This distinction is similar to the Japanese concept of having three faces, but it may not be as clearly defined.

Similarly, in certain Middle Eastern cultures, people may present different faces depending on their gender or social status. Men and women may have different roles and responsibilities, and people from different social classes may interact differently with each other. Understanding these cultural nuances can help us appreciate the diversity of human experience.

The Role of Authenticity in Japanese Culture

While having three faces can be seen as a way to maintain social harmony, it is also important to note that authenticity is highly valued in Japanese culture. People are expected to be honest and sincere in their interactions with others, even if they are presenting a more formal or reserved image.

For example, if someone is asked a question that they do not know the answer to, it is considered more polite to admit their ignorance than to pretend to know the answer. Similarly, if someone is feeling upset or emotional, it is acceptable to express those feelings in an appropriate way rather than hiding them behind a mask.

By striking a balance between social harmony and personal authenticity, people in Japan can build strong relationships based on trust and mutual respect.

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