Coronavirus in Japan – Where the Mouth guard is a fashion accessory for the Japanese, the Wearing of a protective mask has become a matter of course. People from the West have viewed the most critical. However, that is changing.Thomas Hahn from Tokio22 Kommentare22Die protective mask is this: commuters in Tokyo. Photo:

last December, the Japanese retail company Aeon had to admit that it had a mask problem. From the novel Coronavirus no one spoke at that time, the lack of masks for mouth and nose protection was not an issue. On the contrary, the company was not afraid to have a few masks, but to a lot of masked employees. Customers and the media revealed that Aeon to carry its employees in direct customer service, the Mask “in principle,” under said. Indignation swept through the social media, the newspaper “Yukan Fuji” asked for, and a PR Person from Aeon said in a small voice, that exceptions to the No-mask rule possible.

A Symbol of reason and responsibility

Perhaps the Japanese example is the legacy of the Corona-crisis: at the Latest since the H1N1 pandemic of 2009/2010, the mouth – and nose protection from the medicine in Japan, the symbol of the article for the reason and responsibility in the public space ascended. Those who refused the mask, risking contagion by unbridled pathogens – this idea was stuck.

in their giant cities, and in the full commuter trains, the lady or the Lord with the Mouth guard for the usual image belongs to. Anyone who has a cold or a flu, has cured, it should protect according to medical advice, the fellow human beings. Self-protection from the viruses of others is another subject. Allergy-free to wear the mask against Pollen. In addition, the masks are a fashion accessory. Others wear masks to protect themselves behind in the midst of the masses to withdraw.

The Westerners struggle with the masks

For foreigners from the West have always been used to. The mask seemed to show the culture difference between open and closed societies. If the U-Bahn Station, a lot of people contributed with great a matter of course your Mouth guard, was the guest from the far West as a break-up with his normality.

the eyes say what can Japanese say – and this is true of course. But a face is not only from the eyes. Behind the mask, you recognize people are not the same, you should recognize the same. At the checkout, you will feel like a vending machine, because you don’t see any lip movements. The binding friendliness, which belongs to the Japanese self-understanding, is filtered out of the Situation. At the end of the mask barrier is not just a mask, but a kind of sympathy bounce.

Many of the Japanese do not find this so bad. You are already brought up to keep feelings to themselves. Not all wear their mask correctly, sometimes it is crooked or not on the nose. Others have pushed casually over the chin, if you ever need a break from it, to keep the breath in the nose. But the mask has proven effective for you. Maybe because it is not distinguished so easily from the other and can be absorbed in the mass.

there is No place for romance

You can see the mother and child in masks on empty playgrounds, masked loner in the quiet streets, a couple in Love, the made his mask out of the same fabric. And now, in the Corona-crisis, seems to be this Japanese attitude to be actually healthier. Socializing has led to mass infections. Social Distancing is the need of the hour.

It is true: In the pandemic, there is no place for romance, the habit is broken. In South Korea, scoffed at the beginning of the outbreak, about colleagues who were wearing masks. Now you will be looking there wrong, if you wear in the U-Bahn no. In Switzerland, you see more and more people with protective masks in public transport or when shopping. The Image of aid is changing, if you fear to go for their own well-being.

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