Why do Japanese people wear surgical mask?

Hi, everybody!
In Japan, we feel spring is everywhere. I like spring but I’m afraid of the hay fever because many Japanese suffer from it.

Well, today’s topic is “surgical mask”. If I have hay fever, I wear surgical mask to protect me from pollen.
Anyway, there are some reason “why do Japanese people surgical mask.” I’ll explain it as one of Japanese.

1. To protect them

In winter season, many Japanese wear surgical mask to avoid getting a cold. They don’t want to get it, because if they get a cold they have to take a day off.
You know, many Japanese don’t want to take it. We think if we taking a day off is connected to trouble our co-worker. And our paid holiday is not enough, so we don’t want to use it for sickness.

In spring season, many Japanese wear it to protect them from pollen.
(If we are American, we have to say “Bless you” tons of times!)
Do you know why many Japanese suffer from hay fever?
After WW2 Japanese government planted a lot of Japanese cedar to provide woods. They didn’t know (maybe) that trees skip a lot of the pollen.

2. To protect people around them

When we get a cold, we wear surgical mask to protect people around us.
If you have a cough in Japan, you should wear surgical mask. It’s a manner. If you don’t, Japanese around you will look you with scornful eyes.

3. To lazy to ware makeup or to look cute

Some woman wear it to lazy to wear makeup.
And some woman wear it to look them cute. Because in many case, the woman wearing mask looks better. It’s easier to make our eyes beautiful than make our all face beautiful. And sometimes, they are called “masuku-joshi(マスク女子)” (It means mask girls.)

4. To have a peace of mind

Some people wear it to have a peace of mind.
I can’t understand it, but they say “it put me at ease.”.
Wrapping face make them comfortable maybe..

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These are answers I think.

Anyway if you come to Japan, you can see many kind of masks in convenience stores or other shops.
(And a black surgical mask is not Japanese trend, it’s a trend of other asian area maybe Korea or Taiwan.)

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