It is a well-known fact that Japanese people pay attention to details. This characteristic is part and parcel of daily life in Japan and in particular, women seem to embody this characteristic in every aspect of their life from work, household chores to how they look. In this feature, we highlight the five most important habits that most women in Japan develop from a young age.
1. Carrying a handkerchiefIn Japan, this is practiced by both men and women. According to surveys, about 70% of Japanese men carry handkerchiefs, while the percentage is as high as 90% among women. Even young girls seem to have several handkerchiefs with them.
Japanese people love handkerchiefs and you can see this when you enter a department store. Usually, there will be a few shops selling handkerchiefs ranging from traditional motifs to modern ones. There are also event specific designs. For instance, the following hand towels look ordinary but they open up to reveal a pocket for you to keep your sanitary napkins or other essentials.
2. Carrying a folding umbrellaPeople who have been to Japan may be familiar with the transparent umbrellas sold at convenience stores and so on in case it starts raining suddenly.
However, most women will always keep a folding umbrella in their handbags. This saves you from embarrassment of having to buy an umbrella in case of a sudden downpour.
3. Having a foldable shopping bag at all timesSince most people in Japan use public transport in cities, it becomes difficult to carry many shopping bags in your hands. Many women keep a couple of foldable shopping bags in their purses to buy things like groceries, clothing, and so on. Since the policy to pay for plastic bags at supermarkets and convenience stores began a few years ago, more and more people have adopted this habit in support of the environment.
There are so many stylishly designed eco-friendly bags and cloth bags that you can choose one that suits your mood or style.
4. Do not use branded paper bags repeatedlyA strange one, many Japanese women will not reuse branded shopping bags twice. Many high-end brands have beautifully designed shopping bags usually made of paper. However, except at the time of purchase, most people will no longer use brand-name paper bags to store other things. It is even more taboo to use one if it is stained or damaged.
5. Be on timeThis is probably the most important habit. To be punctual or to notify well in advance if you plan to be late is a must in any situation. Of course, this seems to be a common habit regardless of nationality or gender but in Japan, this is of utmost importance as it a reflection of your upbringing and education. If you can’t be on time, no matter how well you dress or how well you do your work, you will lose out.
Any other habits that you have noticed among Japanese women? When you get a chance to visit Japan, do observe!
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