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Japanese culture around arm scars 2023/3/31 09:46
I am visiting Japan (from the US) in May and I am wondering what the culture is around scars on the arms. To many, they would look like self-harm scars, and I typically only wear long sleeved shirts in the US for that reason. It would help inform the clothing I chose to know a little more about how something like this would typically be perceived in Japan.

Thank you for any insight.
by Carlie Bagson (guest)  

Re: Japanese culture around arm scars 2023/3/31 13:30
Ifm not sure I fully understand the question or what you mean by how they would be perceived. They would just be perceived as scars. If they look like self-harm scars to Americans then probably some Japanese people will think they are self-harm scars too. Is this a problem? Does it mean you are going to get into trouble if someone sees them? No. Ifve seen many Japanese people (mostly girls) with self-harm scars out and about, on trains, etc. Nobody is bothering them and very likely nobody will bother you. Wear what you are comfortable wearing and show what you are comfortable showing. Most people who see you will be too busy to care.
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese culture around arm scars 2023/3/31 17:56
In case you are thinking about going to an onsen. No problem there either. People have all type of scars.
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese culture around arm scars 2023/3/31 19:53
In most circumstances, almost all people will leave you alone and will not even notice.

You might get the odd look, but that might be because your a foreigner or they may even be reading what it states on your t-shirt.

One of the benefits of Japan is the people tend to leave you alone unless you are affecting other people. I've also noticed that birth marks tend to be much more common in asia (specifically China, Japan, Korea) and it's just seen as a part of life.

So to put it simple - continue to enjoy planning your trip and don't worry what people will think about an arm scar.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese culture around arm scars 2023/3/31 22:30
I have an obvious operation scar, and several tiny scars from injuries, but I've never had a problem in the decades that I'd had them as a local resident. By that, I mean that no one has tried to avoid me just because of my scars.

Since some of my scars are on my hand and wrist, I've had friends ask me, "What's this?" when we're having a drink or something. I've always explained honestly. No problem. If they don't like my explanation, they don't have to be friends with me.

You say "would look like self-harm scars", so I'm sure they aren't. But I find that a lot of people with self-harm scars in Japan are the ones who are scared to show them, and it's not that others are scared to see them.

But if you're comfortable with longer sleeves, that's fine too. You might feel hotter in summer, but it's not unnatural to be wearing something like light linen long sleeves even in summer. It could even keeps you cooler at times and protect you from the sun.
by Uco rate this post as useful

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