Japan’s Fondness of Handkerchiefs Incorporated in their Daily Lives

Many people across the globe are interested in exploring the distinctive and unique culture of the Land of the Rising Sun. It is one of the factors that contribute to the great surge of tourism in Japan. Aside from their own fascinating traditions and cultural background, the Japanese are also known for their special ability to incorporate beautiful ideas and positive aspects of other nation’s culture with their own.


Photo credit to: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/

Most of the time, Japan’s version would even turn out to be a lot better than the original. For instance, the use of handkerchiefs was first adopted by the Japanese based on western practice in which hankies are utilized as accessories such as but not limited to men’s pocket squares during weddings and other formal occasions. Meanwhile, the Japanese, both young and old make use of handkerchiefs in their day to day lives and these hankies serves various purposes for them.


A lot of Japanese households keep a wide selection of handkerchiefs. Before leaving their homes, they always bring one with them every day especially younger children who are reminded by their mother and teachers about their hankies.


Probably the only thing that the Japanese do not use hankies for is to blow their noses. Commuters on board Japanese trains, taxis, buses and other transport systems know very well that it is socially unacceptable for them to blow their noses in public.


Japan’s fondness with hankies can be traced way back from the Meiji Era during which the country started to warm up with the Western culture and are open to novel ideas. One of the most pupular producer of hankines in Japan is Blooming Nakanishi and Company which is based in Tokyo. Mr. Nakanishi remarked that Japan is now regarded as the largest market for handkerchiefs worldwide.


He further said that “In Western culture, the image of the handkerchief was mostly for blowing noses, but nowadays people generally use tissues instead. However, in Japan, handkerchiefs have always been valued for other uses.”


Reference: Japan’s love of the hanky is nothing to be sneezed at


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