July 22, 2008 at 10:40 pm (Japan FAQs and SAQs, Japanese conformism, Japanese education, Japanese fashion, Japanese hairstyles, Japanese personality, Japanese physical appearance)
According to a letter in the Japan Times, kids with naturally brown hair are treated like they are as rebellious as those that dye their hair that way, and might even be forced to dye it black to look more natural/standard. That could be a factor, as could hair naturally becoming darker as you become older, in the same way as I started blond and cute and then to my horror turned ginger as a teenager…
Any other theories?
January 18, 2008 at 11:52 pm (Japan and China, Japan and the USA, Japan bashing, Japan FAQs and SAQs, Japanese physical appearance, Japanese stereotypes, Japanese teeth, WWII- The Second World War)
This is an odd one, because although Japanese teeth are just as bad as British teeth, bucked teeth doesn’t particularly stand out as a problem. I’m sure someone could write/ has written a whole PhD thesis on this, but here are my theories: That classic Eastern racist anti-hero Fu Man Chu was always portrayed with bucked teeth long before Japan became the biggest yellow peril, so it could have been transferred straight from the Chinese as the Japanese became the biggest threat both in California and in the Pacific. Alternatively, it could have started as a caricature of one particular person that then spread. The whole fact that teeth was such a factor could be due to the caricature coming from America, home of the good teeth obsession.
January 15, 2008 at 9:57 pm (Edo period, Japanese fashion, Japanese teeth, Japanese women)
Showing your white teeth was thought to be like showing the white of your bones. The blackening liquid was also thought to preserve the teeth. The practice was outlawed in the Meiji era in order to not offend foreign visitors or more generally to gain their acceptance as a Westernized and therefore equal nation.