Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Differences in Korean and Japanese Women

I would like to start by stating that I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope all of you experienced the love of Christ at some point during the season.  After all, isn't that what we are supposed to be celebrating?

My mother sent me money this Christmas, instead of sending me presents.  I took it as an opportunity to take a trip to Seoul, and complete my winter wardrobe.  I left on the Friday before Christmas.  I did most of my shopping in Myeongdong, the largest and most prominent shopping area in the city (to my knowledge).  Myeongdong has a Polo store, a North Face store, an authorized Apple dealer, and countless other stores that sell brand name items that Christmas shoppers would be inclined to purchase.

The most prominent group of shoppers in the Myeongdong area during my visit seemed to be the Japanese.  To the untrained eye, "all Asians look the same," but after being in Korea for over seven months, it's rather easy to distinguish the difference between them and Koreans.

Korean women are rather elegant in their dress.  They prefer to wear modest tops, as they never show even a hint of cleavage.  They prefer short skirts, dresses, and high heels, which is rather attractive.  During the winter, they still love wearing them, so the preferred article of clothing used to keep warm are navy blue pantyhose.  They are attractive, feminine, and apparently warm because of their thickness.

Most Korean women are rather modest in the application of makeup, as they choose cosmetics that make their faces appear whiter.  They are also modest regarding the alteration of the color of their hair, as the only color they seem to dye their hair is dark brown.  Korean women have a variety of hairstyles, and many seem to include bangs.  The shoulder length perm is also quite popular, and is rather nice to see.  Korean women are extremely feminine in their hair accessories, as many wear bows and clips of all types, as well as hair bands.

As I've stated earlier, to the untrained eye, "all Asians look the same," but that is definitely not the case.  Generally speaking, there are two differences in facial structure.  Japanese women tend to have a slightly different eye shape, as their eyes seem to be slightly rounder.  They also seem to have a rounder more compact facial structure than Korean women.

Regarding eye shape, many Asian women go to great lengths to make their eyes appear rounder and larger.  Some wear color altering contact lenses, along with other applicable accessories.  Many even have plastic surgery, called double eyelid surgery.  Many Japanese women are known to come to Seoul to have such surgeries, because of the lower rates, and that may be a contributing factor to this particular difference.  But nevertheless, Japanese women seem to have slightly rounder eyes than Korean women.

Japanese women wear more makeup.  This could be another contributing factor to the notion that their eyes appear rounder.  A theory that I have is that while the goal of Korean women, when applying makeup, is to make the face appear whiter, the goal of Japanese women in the application of makeup seems to be to make the eyes look bigger.  They seem to apply eye liner much more liberally than Koreans, and they seem to wear eye shadow, a cosmetic that not many Koreans wear.  And if it is worn by Koreans, it is done more conservatively.  Japanese also apply pink blush extremely liberally to their cheeks, while it is rare to see Koreans wear it.

Japanese women are more liberal in the alteration of their hair color.  Many had a hair color that was a much lighter shade of brown than what I would ever see on most Koreans.  The hairstyles are also noticeably different.  It's difficult to explain, but they seemed to be less elegant, and traditional than Korean women.  Japanese women seemed to go for a more "modern" look with their hair.  Japanese women seemed to prefer not to wear hair bands, bows, and other feminine hair accessories that Koreans wear.

Japanese women definitely have a different fashion sense than Korean women.  In Myeongdong, they seemed to be slightly more casual.  Their sense of style in the winter seemed to be geared more toward comfort, while still maintaining an elegance.  It was difficult to find the attractive combination of miniskirts, navy blue pantyhose, and high heels on Japanese women.

My Korean friends, along with western friends who have visited Japan, tell me that Japanese women take a more individual approach to their sense of style, while Korean women tend to follow the latest trends.  I definitely noticed that while in Seoul.  Many Korean vendors display pictures of Korean celebrities wearing a particular accessory, or article of clothing they are trying to sell.  Korean women tend to prefer the classic look, while Japanese women are more likely to to take risks regarding their style.  The goal of Korean women seems to be to appear more elegant, while Japanese women seem to want to appear more hip.

Another way to tell the difference between Koreans and Japanese is by listening to the language.  Japanese seems to be a little more rhythmic.  It has sort of a cuteness to it.  And nowhere is the cuteness more evident than in how they say Mcdonalds.  Koreans say, "Macdonardsu."  I can't quite explain it like my Korean friends, but Japanese people struggle with pronouncing consecutive consonants, so they say, "Magudonarudo."  It's endearing, and I laugh every time I hear it.  Saying it is as addictive as smoking cigarettes.  For the past week, I've been unable to stop saying "magudonarudo."

While in Myeongdong, I wanted to stop some Japanese people, and ask them, "Do you know where the nearest Mcdonalds is?"

I would have done so only to hear them answer, "Magudonarudo?!?!"  I sat in front of the Mcdonalds in Myeongdong for around ten minutes hoping to recognize a Japanese person for the soul purpose of hearing them say "Magudonarudo."  Isn't it funny how when you are not looking for something, it seems to be everywhere, but when you need it, and begin to actively search for it, it seems to be nowhere in sight?  That's how it seemed when I wanted to hear, "Magudonarudo" from the "horse's mouth," so I had to settle for hearing it from my Korean friends, which was still funny.

Generally speaking, I find Korean women to be more attractive than Japanese women.  Korean women are more elegant and feminine in their style.  I prefer women who embrace their femininity and wear things such as dresses, skirts, cute hair accessories, bows, and pantyhose.  And Korean women definitely do that.  While Japanese women may embrace their femininity in a different way, they seem to do so less regarding their personal appearance, and their sense of style.

If you haven't noticed, the last two posts have been on Japan.  The reason for that is that I find Japanese culture to be more exotic simply because I was never around them in New Orleans, while I was always around Koreans, so naturally, I am fascinated by Japan.

Update:  Please Read


  1. Very interesting and great post!!
    U have a good sense of observation. Lol.
    It's really awesome and i can't wait to read about japanese culture from ur post!! :D


  2. hmm...very interesting comparison. I really like Korean style as well. I also like that very pale skin is considered pretty. In the U.S. I always heard girls talking about needing to go to the tanning bed and how "gross" they look if they aren't tan. I really like this cultures perspective on protecting your skin and how modesty is valued. However, the skirts can be a little too short for my taste. I'm curious as to how these tiny women can keep warm with just one layer on pantyhose. I try to wear skirts in the winter and even with double layered pantyhose, I'm about to freeze to death.

  3. "Magudonarudo">>makudonarudo is correct in Japanese
    when Mcdonalds landed in Japan, the cm pronuncd it makudonarudo.
    however the Japanese can hear it makudanaazu in english
    anyway, makudonarudo in Japanese is マクドナルド.
    Mcdonalds is different from makudonarudo, that is , it is Japanese language.
    i konw macdonals is from US. however Japan has a Japanese expression.
    for example, england in english. igirisu in Japanese

  4. Wow. I don't think it was your intention but this post really comes off as sexist. Really sexist.

    1. Sexist? Wow. I am sorry you feel that way. My intention was to portray that Korean and Japanese women are, generally speaking, different, attractive, and beautiful, so I stand by my post. I make no apologies for being a man. I also make no apologies for finding women attractive. Attraction is an emotion that we all feel as humans. And emotions are, above all things, what I attempt to portray in all of my blog posts. I make no apologies for that either. I also make no apologies for attempting to be informative, but if you have specific info proving that what I portrayed is incorrect, then I welcome that. Thank you for reading, and thank you for your opinion.

    2. I don't claim you are incorrect. You just are validating these women purely on their appearance and are generalizing an entire gender. You also seem to appreciate women to be uncomfortable for your viewing pleasure (cold legs in winter, high heels only).

      I understand that this was not your intention, but after reading this post I felt sick to my stomach. You have another wonderful post about the horrible trend of plastic surgery in Korea so I really do not think that you are sexist.. just this post! Surely you can see how a post like this would exasperate the extreme amount of pressure on women and girls from any country to conform to standardized views of beauty.

      Also sorry to be posting these anonymously as that seems cowardly, I just don't have any of these account thingys.

    3. Most women do the exact same thing with men. It may not be based on physical appearance, but it may be something else that is just as "superficial." Is it inherently wrong? No. There is nothing wrong with making choices, within reason, based on the attraction factor regarding the opposite sex in order to uphold a standard. In my case, there is nothing wrong with being impressed by those choices either. But when women get to a point to where they choose to deprive themselves of food, or choose to physically destroy their already beautiful faces and bodies through plastic surgery in the name of upholding that standard, then that is when it becomes wrong and excessive. If a man chooses to go into extreme debt to buy a car or house that he can't afford just to impress a girl, it becomes excessive. That is when it becomes our place, as members of the opposite sex, to inform them that they are being ridiculous and unreasonable.

      Are there things that certain men do that you find attractive, and you can't explain why? (I am assuming you are a woman.) If there are, then you are being just as "sexist" as I am, because I now feel pressured to uphold that particular standard. If you don't have a standard in a potential husband, then you are not human. Moreover, you are not a living being, because even animals have standards for potential mates. But when people go through excessive and unreasonable measures to uphold that standard, that is when it becomes wrong. It also becomes wrong when people become overly impressed by that standard, and base every decision they make on it.

  5. Hi Chris,
    Just want to say that you wrote a very interesting blog. I was wondering if it is considered rude for Korean women not to wear pantyhose in public? A friend of mine was reading something where it was considered rude for Korean women not to wear hose in put but I am not sure even though I do see a lot of them wear hose in various pictures and videos.

  6. Hi Chris,

    Very nice and well-written post. Your observations are very interesting, and it's nice to learn some things about Asian culture from someone who sees things from both an Asian and Western perspective.

    I have long believed that Asian women are more committed to dressing femininely than women of all other nationalities. I believe Asian women are classy and elegant, and while they have a delicate appearance, they actually are very strong in many ways. I love their dedication to traditional and family values.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought Japanese women were the most prolific wearers of sheer pantyhose, perhaps followed by Korean and Chinese women. Either way, there are so many wonderful qualities for which Asian women should be admired and respected.

    Thanks for sharing your observations. I will be following your blog.

    Robin Maryland

  7. Good observation. I always say Korean women are beautiful and classy in style while Japanese women are cute and can be more trendy in style.
    Also noticed Koreans are quite tall. I like them both.

    1. Koreans are quite tall? Meaning no disrespect, but you must be short. I am a 5'7, 5'8 male and I tower above 80% of the population. I feel average in America and huge in Korea. I love it. The women often wear high heels or at least shoes with large souls to elevate themselves, as height is important to Koreans. I even work with a Korean man that will wear shoes that make him about 2 inches taller. Yes we make fun of him for wearing high heels. But, he says height is important to Koreans. The taller (or higher up) the better. Ha.

    2. Average height for Young Korean male is 5'8. I always felt I was average while I was in Korea.
      Now I live in America and I feel short.

  8. I think more women should take a leaf outta the korean girls book. You should love yourself enough to look good not just for anyone else but for yourself and its not that hard you dont have to slather yourself in makeup. I think they look cute yet sexy yet somewhat modest :)I personally love that they can wear miniskirts and tights in winter. How bad ass is that?! LOL i live in colorado and it is no fun for someone uber feminine as myself to wear jeans all the time -___- i'm currently trying to get used to the cold since i'm originally from texas :P and this chris man is a guy nothing wrong with him appeciating a very feminine female sheesh. Who in general doesn't like looking at beautiful things? I don't mind looking at a handsome man Lol doesn't mean that's all i care about in a person but who is going to go up to every attractive person and say hi can i get to know you before i admire you from afar? Lmao and i know what you people saying this is a bit sexist are going to say...oh wow you are setting the womens movement back blah blah blah uh no i take great interest in cars learning how to fix them and i do most of the handiwork around the house...i say, a woman can do anything a man can do....but why can't i look cute doing it?? ;) lighten up people stop calling this guy sexist. This was very polite and his own opinion :) Now where can i find some nice navy tights? haha XD oh and if anyone wants to criticize my writing yes i know it's horrid but it's 1am and i'm just plain lazy at the moment ;P

  9. You forgot to mention that 90% of the korean woman population has plastic surgery as opposed to japan who tend to keep it natural... If fake faces are what people call pretty, then anyone can be that.

    1. May i ask where you get your facts from? Because that is so not true to my knowledge.

    2. I haven't heard a percentage, but it is a fact that some women do get plastic surgery to raise their cheekbones for example. They think the higher cheekbones that American women tend to have look more attractive. I have also been commented on my nose occasionally as I have a large(r) bridge of my nose. Apparently that is found appealing as well.

    3. Yes that's true most of Korean people tend to do plastic surgery because people judge easily by their looks which is very bad while I didn't see that in Japanese culture.

    4. They didn't just raise they cheekbone, they also actually CUT the bone of their JAW to make their face look more oval. If you see a Korean with a nice long or sharp oval face, you know it's plastic surgery.My room mate did 5 surgeries just to look like the actress on TV. I had live in Korea for 3 years and I feel like I was walking around in a society that wear a fake face all the time. It wasn't really nice.

    5. Lols, so you are one of those who, burning out of jealousy, manufacture and spread a lie, right? People now have reliable figures about plastic surgery in Korea and no longer talk about it lest they are ridiculed. Check the statistics of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Do a bit of arithmetic yourself with the number of surgery procedures and the Korean population but don't forget to take the conservative number of 40% of Chinese and Japanese clients into account. If you did the number work well, you will get less than five out of one thousand. That is not even one person out of one hundred Koreans. Ordinary women in Seoul live far far away from the realm of plastic surgery. Globally the US is ranked the first, in Asia it is still China, followed by Japan. True, some Koreans have it, but not as much as your fantasy leads you to believe. Korean women are renowned for their body shape and skin quality. Ask yourself how much you can change them through plastic surgery. Btw, my Eunjin is from Korea and she is as natural as all her friends in Seoul, and yet absolutely gorgeous. I think that the secret is her beloved kimchi gug and naengmyeon.

    6. PREACH IT. People forget to account the large amount of non-Korean people that go there to have plastic surgery in the 'plastic surgery performed in Korea' percentage.

  10. where is women and where difference

  11. where is korean pics and japnes women
    i thin add pics and difference solw

  12. Not attempting to bash you or your opinions, as I know everyone's opinions vary, but I don't like anything about Korean women. I can't say anything about Japanese women as I haven't had a long enough interaction with any to give a solid opinion; so when I compare Korean women, I am comparing them to American women. I am an American and have been living in Korea for a few days short a year now. I live in the northern part of the country, but have been to many different parts of Seoul on many different occasions. The Korean women are simply not.. attractive. And I don't mean just physically although I find that to be true too. Their personalities are so subdued, so shy or modest as you put it. You can barely get two words out of them. Forget about sparking up a conversation with a women at the same ice cream store as you and forget about dancing with a women in the club. The way they dress is as you say modest, but its so the same. There is a reason that people say you can't tell one Korean from another. They all have that dark brown hair, naturally, and they all follow the same trends.
    Where American women would acknowledge a good looking fellow by talking to him or saying something, Korean women would look the other way and hope they are invisible until you are gone. I think eye contact scares them, a lot.
    Physically, if you are into the extremely skinny, "twig-like" figure, then Korea may be the place for you. I haven't seen any thick Koreans, although maybe every 1/200 is fat. But I mean FAT. I have just found the entire Korean population to be quiet, subdued, and not sexy/attractive.

    1. I so agree with you, man. I work a lot with Asians; Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese and Singaporean and I was able to tell them apart. But with the Korean women. . . they are like a clone from different factories!!! Same style of clothing and some time a full set of clothing, accessories, make-up, pantyhose, hair style . . . etc. . . all right out of magazines and TV. I've been here(Korea) 3 years and still can't tell them apart!!

      And if you don't look like the magazine's standards, you are bullies and people are rude to you. (I see it first hand where a strange group of, Ass-hole guys, was taunting a chubby high school girl and making inappropriate gesture about her size, till she cry and just walked off like it was her fault. All her "friends", whom she was with, ignored her and didn't even come to her comfort!!! Then they kind of shooed her away like she was embarrassing them!!!)

      Personally, I find Korean women to be kind of cruel toward anyone different and VERY self-center. They only care about looks and what other people thinks of them. They only appear elegance outside of house and their comfort-zone. Dated 2 of them a year ago (not at the same time), dumped both right after; No.1, she told me to change my ENTIRE WARDROBE because HER FRIENDS thinks that I wear too casual clothing. Then she wants me to wear some make-up cause Korean guys(K-pop) wear them too. No.2, look at a mirror every 10-15 min, and i mean, she check herself out like 20-30 time on our first date! I didn't mind at first, but then it got irritating. Then she wanted me to wear a tie, colour pants or vest just to go to a supermarket with her, that is 10 min walk from my apartment!!!

      If you want fake faces women with fake personalities and, some, even fake body. Someone who only care about their appearance and is ignorance toward others who are different and toward those who they deemed not "beautiful". Then Korean women are the closet you can get.

  13. You can't approach and talk to Korean women in an ice cream store that way. You are not supposed to create an artificial environment for a talk, which will surely make them feel their skins crawling. An encounter must come naturally or as a way of inevitability, if you like. Only then can they feel comfortable talking to a man, whether fellow Koreans or foreigners. Such a habit may earn a label of sexual conservatism for them, but that is how their cultural psyche is constituted. And to the eyes calibrated to the shapes fed of pizzas or fish-and-chips like here in Britain, Koreans may look unusually thin. But I find them just beautifully slender, not 'twig-like'.

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  16. It always cracks me up when I hear a Korean bloke making fun of the Japanese pronunciation of English words. For coffee and orange juice, Japanese say cohee, orangy juissu while Koreans say copy, orangy juiceu. And just to get it straight, Koreans can't pronounce MacDonald's either. They say MacDonaldeu.

  17. merely haven’t observed “the one”. Right after revelling inside her 20s footloose as well as nice free, from the evening the girl visits 30 her carefree attitude screeche…

  18. Most of korean women did plastic surgery, their beauty is FAKE, they are not beautiful at all.