In Japan, an increasing number of people want to wear masks even after the end of the pandemic.

2021.12.11 06:30
People have been wearing masks for almost two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, an increasing number of young people in Japan are reluctant to be seen their faces without masks by others. Some say, "I want to continue wearing a mask even after the end of the pandemic." Why is that?
◆ "The mask is now part of my face"
A 27-year-old female office worker in Tokyo said, "I'm reluctant to remove the mask. The mask is now part of my face. Even if my skin is dry and rough, I can hide it with a mask." She is reluctant to show her face without a mask, especially to people she met after the pandemic.
A 23-year-old male university student in Tokyo says, "My girl friends say, 'I want to wear a mask because I don't have to make up.' I can understand that feeling." However, the difficulty is that it is difficult to hear conversations with the mask on.
According to a survey of 4,000 people conducted by a private institution in March this year, 29.9% of men in their 20s said they would actively mask even after the pandemic was over. Those in their 30s were 29.4%. It decreased as the age went up.
On the other hand, the percentage of females was high in all generations, with the highest percentage being 31.1% in their 60s, followed by 29.1% in their 30s and 28.3% in their 40s.
◆ "No need to put on makeup" "No need to shave"
People are more conscious of hiding their faces than trying to prevent the infection of the virus. A woman in her 40s says, "If you wear a mask, you don't have to wear makeup. I can't think of a life without a mask anymore." A man in his thirties said, "I hide my unshaven face with a mask."
Yohei Harada, a marketing analyst familiar with youth culture, said, "It was a phenomenon that was well established among young people even before the pandemic." The purpose is to make the face look smaller by wearing a mask, or to hide the face without makeup.
Some people don't remove their masks to hide their inferiority complex. Counselor Yuzo Kikumoto says, "For those who have a feeling of inferiority complex such as poor alignment of teeth or who don't want to communicate with others, the defense effect of the mask is tremendous."

This article is composed using Google Translate customized exclusively for The Chunichi Shimbun. The translation may have limited accuracy.