J a p a n e s e    C u l t u r e

Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Make Up Makes Japanese Feel Good

If you identify with your face as the centre of your persona (Watsuji, 2011), point at it to indicate yourself (Leuers & Sonoda, 1998), then it is not surprising that make up has a very positive effect upon how you are feeling. Moritsuchi et al. (2006) separated female subjects into two groups one of which were given a full make over
by a professional make-up artist, the other who where asked to wait. The latter group showed little change except in a decrease in liveness and increased tiredness. The former group became less stress, less depressed, less angry (less animosity), more lively, less tired, and less confused. It is not surprising that Japan women spend the most per head on cosmetics.

That this spending data has an inverse correlation with well-being says less about how happy Japanese women are, than how those that identify with their self-narrative, rather than their faces, are inclined to think positively, and prevaricate about their level of happiness.

Indeed, in the same experiment (Moritsuchi et al., 2006), the make-up condition start in a state of more negative affect, and overall (bottom graph) while those that wore make up had significantly increased psychological well-being, whereas the control group remained the same, at the same time the made up group reported themselves as less happy than the un-made up group. Bearing in mind how make-up improved their state of mind, this difference is likely to be due to the way in which focus upon improving appearance may make people less inclined to "self-enhance" -- speak bs.

Conversely, pride, or linguistic self-esteem, takes people away from the light as is suggested by the strong correlation between self-esteem (self-bs) and calorie intake and obesity.

Image from page 114-115 in (Moritsuchi et al., 2006)
Morichi, Hirose, Tanaka, and Hisayo 森地恵理子, 広瀬統, 中田悟, & 久世淳子. (2006). メイクアップの心理的効果と生体防御機能に及ぼす影響. 日本福祉大学情報社会科学論集, 9, 111–116. Retrieved from research.n-fukushi.ac.jp/ps/research/usr/db/pdfs/00074-00...
Leuers = Takémoto, T. R. S., & Sonoda, N. (1998, October). 心像的自己に関する比較文化的研究(1) Cross Cultural Research on the Specular Self. Oral Presentation口頭発表 presented at the The 62th Annual Convention of the Japanese Psychologiocal Association English日本心理学第64回大会, Tokyo Gakugei Daigaku. Retrieved from http://nihonbunka.com/docs/shinzoutekijiko1.doc
Watsuji, T. (2011). Mask and Persona. Japan Studies Review, 15, 147–155. Retrieved from asian.fiu.edu/projects-and-grants/japan-studies-review/jo...

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.