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Mask wearing in Japan 2020/7/11 05:13
Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, was Japan exceptional in its mask wearing culture compared to other Asian countries?
by Menj (guest)  

Re: Mask wearing in Japan 2020/7/11 09:23
I dont fully understand you question. But if you are asking if Japanese people wear masks more than other asian countries do. No. It is just the same amount of people wearing a mask.

Maybe less in the summer months as out of flu / cold season.

Other countries or asian city population may wear them more due to air quality issues in those cities.
by h (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mask wearing in Japan 2020/7/11 09:50
I was just wondering how Japan compared to other Asian countries. Since western countries don't typically wear masks, if such a visitor were to take a trip, travelling to all the Asian countries, which would they think? 1) Wow, why are so many people in Japan wearing masks? Or 2) Wow, why are so many people in Asia (or whichever Asian countries) wearing masks?
by Menj (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mask wearing in Japan 2020/7/11 13:03
Asia is a BIG continent with many different countries and cultures. Eg I am sure that in Russia mask wearing was not very common. Nor in India.

I think mask wearing was quite common in TAiwan, China, South Korea and Japan before the pandemic. I am no expert on counties such as Vietnam.

However for sure in the majority of Asian countries mask wearing was just as infrequent as in Europe/America before the pandemic.
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Mask wearing in Japan 2020/7/11 21:39
I am no expert on counties such as Vietnam.

In Vietnam, masks have/had been commonly worn when riding motorbikes which had/have been the main means of transportation.

In Japan, before covid-19, masks in the streets had been a means to prevent allergen, flu and colds. So not everyone wore them, but those who wanted to prevent those things did wear them, and there were many of those people. As a result, I found the percentage of wearers just about the same as it was in other East Asian countries, maybe more or less depending on the environment.

Meanwhile, if you visited a doctor in Japan, even before covid-19, you were typically asked to wear a mask while inside the medical facility, even if you considered yourself healthy (such as just visiting for a checkup). I don't know how medical facilities are in other Asian countries. I did visit a hospital in a Vietnamese resort and wasn't asked to wear a mask.

By the way, someone on Japanese TV said something convincing: "People in Asia tend to feel okay about hiding their mouth, because they prefer to express with their eyes. Meanwhile, people in Western countries tend to feel okay about hiding their eyes, because they prefer to express with their mouth, such as through smiling."

Sure enough, wearing sunglasses for fashion is not as acceptable in Japan as it is in Western countries. It's okay when you're relaxing, but you should take them off when greeting people or doing business, and a lot of old-timers would think that sunglasses would make you look like a criminal, just as a mask may make you look like a criminal in the West.

Hope it helps.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Mask wearing in Japan 2020/7/12 17:46
To add what other had commented, other than health/allergy, some young people ( mostly girls/ladies) wear mask as fashion or due personal complex(avoid confrontation/disconnect).
In my ALT'ing days, quite a few student wear mask almost everyday (thay are healthy not sick/allergy).
Some teacher will comment on the student to take the mask off, which they do but only for them to put it back after that particular class finish.

Where I'm from, Malaysia (even neighbouring coutries such as Thailand/Indonesia/Singapore), mask wearing is not common in daily life. Maybe those commute to work by motorbike, some do wear mask(or cloth/bandana wrap around the nose/mouth) due to fume/smoke from cars.
Even when you had flu or cold. Mostly mask are worn for work related or in medical field. Sometimes when the haze season become severe, people tend to wear mask, but other than that mask is not part of normal daily until covid19.

Meanwhile, if you visited a doctor in Japan, even before covid-19, you were typically asked to wear a mask while inside the medical facility, even if you considered yourself healthy (such as just visiting for a checkup).
I would like to disagree on this. I have yet to see or experience visitor/normal medical checkup require a mask. Never seen any notice/sign put up in hospital/clinic nor was asked by nurse (unless it is critical area). It is more of self courtesy (when sick seeking medical consultation).
Not until covid19 starts, where mask wearing is required.
by @.. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mask wearing in Japan 2020/7/12 20:10
More than 20 years ago, when I visit Japan for the first time I see thousands of Japanese use mask ,mostly female.I am so surprised.
Even today,I can't use mask for Long time. I can't breath.
Even Donald trump can't breath,but in one or two occasion put on mask by compulsion.
by Max (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mask wearing in Japan 2020/7/12 23:59
Just to clarify, I'm sure people may have different experiences, but I was politely forced to wear a mask in more than four visits to different hospitals in recent pre-covid years when I was healthy (for checkup or visiting patients), the last time being on Jan 7, 2020. And I only visit hospitals about once or twice a year. They gave me the mask, since I never carried one until this March. I also should add that elementary school children have always worn masks when they are in charge of serving the school lunch to class.

What I'm saying is that, generally speaking, specialists in Japan have always been telling you to wear masks to prevent spreading various kinds of viruses without intention. So the awareness/belief was always there, although not everyone followed it until covid. As for fashion purposes, I feel that it's more common among younger people than, say, people over thirty.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Mask wearing in Japan 2020/7/13 13:43
If you are asking if Japan is wearing masks more than usual, the answer would be yes. It's not "mandatory" that you have to, but it's highly encouraged. I believe the Japanese government can't force people to do things, but they can highly encourage you to do things and most people will do it.
by Facts (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mask wearing in Japan 2020/7/13 15:01
Actually I'm asking about *before* the pandemic. Let's say a person had travelled to Taiwan, China, South Korea, and Japan 30 years ago. They probably would have seen a number of people wearing masks in their daily lives in all of these places. But would they think that the percentage of people wearing masks in Japan was significantly higher in comparison to the other three locations?
by Menj (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mask wearing in Japan 2020/7/13 16:33
Also, how about 5 years ago?
by Menj (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mask wearing in Japan 2020/8/3 00:58
5 years ago is as same as 1:year ago but coronavirus pandemic situation Totally change situations worldwide, not here in Japan.
by Julia (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mask wearing in Japan 2020/8/3 06:14
Answers have already been given avout mask wearing before covid if you are willing to read them. Scrollback.
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mask wearing in Japan 2020/8/3 08:53
Japan and other countries such a taiwan, china and south korea have been known to wear masks during the cold/flu season, even before the virus situation that happened. It was quite common to see people wearing them before all of this happened.

The only thing that worries myelf and others is that people have this psychology to think that just by wearing a mask, it is some kind of "magic barrier" that prevents you from spreading or getting sick from illnesses, which unfortunately isn't the case. Viruses are too small and can bypass masks, not to mention they are on surfaces that we touch, in the air, and even inside of us at all times.

Stay healthy guys and keep your immune system strong. We'll get through this.
by TonyMontana1 rate this post as useful

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