7 reasons the Japanese wear surgical masks

  • Why do Japanese people always wear surgical masks?
    Many of those who come to Japan for the first time will have this question. This time we will examine the reasons why wearing surgical masks is so popular among Japanese people.


    Japanese people often use surgical masks when they get sick or when they do not feel well. They tend to wear surgical masks not only for serious sickness such as flu but also for common colds. Needless to say, if you have a flu, you are too exhausted to go out very much because of the fever.


    Recently a great number of Japanese people suffers from itchy eyes and sneezing caused by hay fever. Especially during the warm season when the trees grow up and start making pollen, therefore people have to protect themselves from it. Other than surgical masks, there are also many other medical goods for hay fever available in the drug stores in Japan. Moreover, the weather forecast tells you how much pollen there is in the air in your ares. From all this, you can get an idea of how many Japanese people are affected by hay fever.

    3.Lunch time

    Surgical masks are used every day by school lunch servers in elementary and junior high schools, high school and university students do not have school lunches. This is done so nothing gets into the food.

    4.Medical staff

    Surgical masks are used by medical staff such as doctors and dentists, just like in the other countries. This is the ordinary way to use them.

    5.To hide your face

    Some young Japanese girls use surgical masks in order to hide their face without make-up. As you know, make-up can be a kind of magic that makes girls extremely cute and beautiful. Also, it is said that boys who care about their appearance wear surgical masks if they did not shave their beard.

    6.To keep your face warm during the cold season

    A surgical mask covers and makes your face warm. It saves you from the cold or dry air because of the moisture created with your breath.

    7.To protect ourselves and others

    Some Japanese people believe that an ill person needs to wear a surgical mask to not spread the disease to other people. A healthy person does it to protect himself/herself from any cold and sickness especially before taking tests, going to an important event, and so forth. Each person cares about his/her own health, but at the same time they care about each other. This might be a unique part of Japanese society.