March 24, 2013 @ MoC
Researching for our Color Corpus, we found out about this today…
“In the old days in Japan, for a man to show his teeth indicated weakness or that he was joking. To show one’s teeth when laughing was considered bad manners. There used to be a custom where MARRIED WOMEN PAINTED THEIR TEETH BLACK (ohaguro). TO HAVE WHITE TEETH FOREVER MEANT THAT THE WOMAN HAS MISSED HER CHANCE TO MARRY. Japanese hide their mouths when laughing because of this custom. However, in present day Japan, there are many who do this in order to hide poor tooth alignment or because they feel embarrassed about something.”
#from the book “70 Japanese Gestures” by Hamiru- aqui.