Why are the Japanese so big on umbrellas?

You might just as well ask why the British are so resistant to them, but a student of mine says that even elsewhere in Asia they have been struck by how much less common umbrellas are than in Japan.

The many possible factors include:

– The long history of umbrellas in Japan

– Japanese trusting weather forecasts more than many nationalities (seen by how few people have umbrellas when there is totally unexpected rain)

– When the number of umbrellas reaches a certain level, you need an umbrella to defend yourself against the other umbrellas

– Haircuts that would be completely messed up by a hat or the rain

– No social pressure against clear plastic umbrellas and cycling with umbrellas

– Rain is often accompanied by high humidity, and coats and waterproof trousers make you sweat, especially if you’re on a bicycle

– The Japanese are generally good at doing what their mothers told them to do, also seen with vests

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