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Having a beard in Japan

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Having a beard in Japan

Postby gtroubat » April 15th, 2017 8:11 pm

Hello everyone,

There is a question on my mind since many year's, and I would now really like to finally know the truth: I'd like to know about how having a beard is perceived in Japan.

I heard that to Japanese people it looks dirty, or like the person is not taking care of himself. I don't know if this is true or to what extent it is, as I saw quite some young men wearing full beards in Japan and to my understanding looking quite cool and handsome like this.
I tried asking some young Japanese who told me yes, it is not well seen in Japanese society, but it is ok on Westerners and looks good on some.

Are they just trying to answer in a polite way? Or is it really OK for western people?
It could understand that they don't want to say directly "You should really shave, right now, you look terrible". That's why asking on a forum seems a better way for me.

In the country I am, I do have a full beard but keep it always neat and clean as I meet with my customers and suppliers every day.
Well, all this text to know how it is perceived in a professional setting.

Dear Japanesepod team, can some Japanese give me a straightforward answer? So finally I can be clear on this existential question.
And fellow hairy people, do you have any experience you could share with me?

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Re: Having a beard in Japan

Postby poyo1107 » April 15th, 2017 11:52 pm

My Japanese friends (mostly women) told me it's only okay to have a beard if you're a foreigner or are older than 30.
I believe this is because a lot of Japanese men can't grow a proper beard when they are young so they look ridiculous.
For example I've got a friend, Wataru, and since he is in Germany he has grown a "beard" but it's really just a few stubbles on his chin so it looks super funny. :D

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Re: Having a beard in Japan

Postby community.japanese » May 9th, 2017 11:20 am

gtroubat san,
Well… I think majority of Japanese people don’t like beard very much.
However, some people recognize that as fashion.
If you work in an industry of hospitality, your bosses or rules of companies ban your beard.
However, if you are a tourist in Japan, that is ok.
Yuki 由紀

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