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Japanese girls and the peace sign

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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby Supergrunch » Tue 10.25.2005 7:07 am

Shibakoen wrote:
Apollo, if Americans were truly hated everywhere CocaCola, Blue Jeans, and Brittany Spears wouldn't be as big as they are overseas. The fact is, in countries I've been to anyway, the people don't have any problem with Americans or even American culture. There are definitely people who think negatively of disrespectful tourists, polluting corporations, or, in the case of Japan specifically, disrespectful American soldiers. Here in the States we always blame Mexicans or Chinese or the French for one thing or another, but there's always aspects of their cultures that we like. I've never been to a country where I've been shunned because I am an American.


So you haven't been to England then?;)
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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby Kates » Tue 10.25.2005 11:44 am

A Japanese friend told me that the V-sign helps detract all of the attention off the face, when taking a picture. I can kind of see this being a subconscious thing with the Japanese--I mean, look at how many women cover their mouths when the laugh or talk. While this isn't true of everyone, I think it's an interesting way to think about it.

And it's not just the V-sign--when I was teaching there, and taking pictures with hundreds of elementary kids... the "three peace" was very popular. (Which was your first three fingers instead of two--so it seems maybe they DID know the sign can mean peace?) Also, apparently there was a comedian who was popular just before I arrived and his thing was saying "GETSU!" and 'firing' both your first fingers out at the camera (like in a "hey baby" gesture)--so tons of kids would do the "getsu" in photos with me. There were also some cutesy hand gestures girls would do near their faces (like, making a V with your pointer and thumb and framing your chin with it) when we took photos.

So this makes me think my friends thought is a bit more valid--people just doing something to distract a bit from the face. Although, it probably has a lot to do with kids just being kids as well. ^_^
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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby Spaztick » Tue 10.25.2005 1:02 pm

I've heard that women covering up thier mouth was to hide thier teeth while they laugh, supposidly from som relegious reason that showing exposed bones were unclean. I personally think the reason nowadays is hogwash, and do it because it's inherent in thie behavior (saw thier moms or friends doing it and do it too).

Although, if you think about it, showing bones are unclean, if it's anything but your teeth, like a broken leg or exposed ribs or something (which that I wouldn't like to see).

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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby Kates » Wed 10.26.2005 2:38 pm

If 'showing exposed bone is unclean'.... wouldn't guys do it too...? :D
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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby WacKostRacKo » Wed 10.26.2005 2:56 pm

i think its because asian girls like to have small mouths to try and look cute. Your mouth looks biggest when you are laughing, they are trying to stay cute and hide something they dont like.;)

I dont think its a guy thing.
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How about:

外人: これはすしです。すしが好きです。
日本人: おお!日本語が上手ですね。
外人: Erm....what?


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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby randomerror » Wed 10.26.2005 4:52 pm

I thought women covered their mouths because most people in Japan have bad teeth(due to a lack in dental care) and are embarassed?
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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby skrhgh3b » Fri 10.28.2005 12:33 am

randomerror wrote:
I thought women covered their mouths because most people in Japan have bad teeth(due to a lack in dental care) and are embarassed?


um... wow. there's no shortage of ignorance, that's for sure.
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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby Kates » Fri 10.28.2005 9:24 am

He's not completely wrong, you know. Many companies in Japan still do not offer dental insurance to their employees, so many people go without regular dental checkups. The number of Japanese children who get braces is significantly smaller than that of American children. But of course, the Japanese can personally take care of their teeth at home.

But I don't think that this "bad teeth" idea is why Japanese people (mostly women) cover their mouths when they speak/laugh. I think it's just a cultural development.
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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby skrhgh3b » Fri 10.28.2005 10:20 pm

i make sweeping generalizations myself, but that still seems like going a little too far to me.
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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby JoshM » Fri 10.28.2005 11:03 pm

Kates wrote:
Also, apparently there was a comedian who was popular just before I arrived and his thing was saying "GETSU!" and 'firing' both your first fingers out at the camera (like in a "hey baby" gesture)--so tons of kids would do the "getsu" in photos with me.


"GETS!"
Yeah. I saw that comedian once. It is really... ahn... Funny. ;P
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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby nprz » Fri 10.28.2005 11:56 pm

Getsu. Yes, I think everyone in Japan knows that :) Well, at least everyone I knew, knew. That and from the "hey hey hey" show.
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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby Shibakoen » Mon 10.31.2005 12:13 am

Kates wrote:
He's not completely wrong, you know. Many companies in Japan still do not offer dental insurance to their employees, so many people go without regular dental checkups. The number of Japanese children who get braces is significantly smaller than that of American children. But of course, the Japanese can personally take care of their teeth at home.

But I don't think that this "bad teeth" idea is why Japanese people (mostly women) cover their mouths when they speak/laugh. I think it's just a cultural development.


Don't forget there's also floride added to our water here in the States. After having lived in Japan, I definitely appreciate it more. I also really like the milk and toothpaste here in the States MUCH better. But the original comment just seems absurd to me since just about all the women I ever met (and I met quite a few while teaching English) had good teeth. The only people with real dental issues were older salarymen, or so it seemed to me. But here in the US when you get out in the country, especially where smokeless tobacco is popular, there are some real nasty teeth. There is absolutely NO connection though between the "J-wave" as my friends called it, and bad teeth.
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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby Shibakoen » Mon 10.31.2005 12:19 am

Supergrunch wrote:
So you haven't been to England then?;)


Ha, actually I have, lol. I was exposed to the punk scene for the first time while I was over there. I still haven't seen any mohawks bigger than the one worn by a guy I saw at Stonehenge of all places.
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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby Supergrunch » Mon 10.31.2005 8:46 am

Shibakoen wrote:
Supergrunch wrote:
So you haven't been to England then?;)


Ha, actually I have, lol. I was exposed to the punk scene for the first time while I was over there. I still haven't seen any mohawks bigger than the one worn by a guy I saw at Stonehenge of all places.


Yeah, that wouldn't suprise me.:)
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RE: Japanese girls and the peace sign

Postby JoshM » Mon 10.31.2005 9:08 am

Hmn, I really don't know for sure, but, I think this habit for covering their teeth was born a long time ago and inconscientiously incorporated into the culture. Married women in Japan ages ago, dyed their teeth black to be less attractive. And men at the Jomon Period removed their canine teeth. So, it could be an habit that was originated long, long ago to cover their mouth. I'm just speculating, tho'. Fire me at will.
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