Why Japanese people wear a mask?

Going on your trip to Tokyo something you may encounter, even prior to Covid, are the Japanese wearing masks.  This behavior is quite common in Japan, and it is not worn by one specific age group or population.  Masks are worn for a variety of reasons.  They are first and foremost worn if a person is feeling sick, and I mean even so much as the sniffles, wearing a mask protects everyone else from getting sick.  This is a remarkable mindset, as it is all about the other person and being polite, not individualistic at all!  I do love that about the Japanese, they go above and beyond for others.  Second, on your trip to Tokyo you may see a Japanese person wearing a mask due to a work mandate.  Some jobs such as construction, nail salons, hospitals do mandate their workers to wear a mask to reduce inhaling hazardous materials and/or reduce the chance of infection.  Third, another reason is that introverted people may wear masks deliberately to hide their faces and so they do not have to talk to people.  Just take that in for a minute…yes they wear it due to being insecure about themselves, this is unfortunately a sad reality and again is common.  Fourth, believe it or not some Japanese wear masks so they are not recognized by others, like celebrities here in America who wear big sunglasses or hats to avoid being recognized.  And the last reason, is not surprising if you consider how advanced the Japanese educational system is comparatively to the rest of the world, some students wear masks, so they do not have to be ‘on’ all the time.  They wear them so they can focus, and the masks help block out any distractions while they are studying. 


On your trip to Tokyo you will no doubt see people wearing masks.  I can remember being in work meetings with the Japanese wearing masks, at first it was strange to me but then I realized it was part of their culture and I got used to it.  There are many different theories about why the Japanese wear a mask, I took mine from personal experience.  Here is another article to learn more about mask culture in Japan:  https://kotaku.com/lets-talk-about-japan-and-sickness-masks-1740939773


Back in 2018, when we returned stateside, our daughter was feeling sick and went to school wearing a mask.  It literally had all her peers and teachers do a ‘double-take’ and she got probed all day about why she was wearing a mask and if she was contagious.  Poor thing, she was just doing what she had learned while in Japan.  I guess now due to Covid, this pressure to know will not be the case anymore but who knows…it would be great if people turned this unfortunate event to a positive. 


Japan has so much to do and experience, it is really unlike other places and the people are amazing.  Consider going on an escorted trip to Tokyo.  Our Tokyo Tours are unlike any of our competition because we are Americans who travel with you.  We are relatively easy to get along with and I am hedging my bets you will appreciate our insights into Japanese culture while visiting Tokyo!  We provide free consultation on our tours to Tokyo and we are running some Great Deals for late fall right now!  With us, you will see, do, and experience much more than you would on your own, so contact us today for your own customized trip to Tokyo!

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