Thursday, October 11, 2012

Let's go to Akita and see beautiful Japanese women!!

Have you heard the Japanese phrase " Akita-bijin / 秋田美人" ? Akita/秋田 is a prefecture in the northern part of Japan facing the Sea of Japan. Bijin/美人 means beautiful woman. So, Akita-bijin/秋田美人 means beautiful women from Akita, implying that there are many beautiful women in Akita. I'm not sure whether or not Akita has more beautiful women than other prefectures.I don't know exactly when the phrase became very popular, but it was already popular many years ago, when I was a child.

It's been said that women in Akita have beautiful skin. The other day, I saw a TV show about beautiful skin on NHK, the Japan's national public broadcast station. The show introduced women at a town in Akita as those with beautiful skin. Admittedly, many of them had fair and beautiful skin. Four of them over 70 (years old), even without makeup, were amazing. Their facial skin was really beautiful and fair without flecks and with very few wrinkles. Their skin made them look much younger. Can you guess why the women in Akita have beautiful skin?

According to the show, Akita has the shortest annual hours of sunlight in Japan. And the four elderly women with beautiful skin have been living in the town since they were children. They worked indoors for many years. It proves that people who have fewer chances of being subjected to sunshine tend to have beautiful skin. As you may know, ultraviolet are harmful to the skin. It causes not only skin cancer but also flecks and wrinkles which make people look older. As a matter of fact, elderly people who always work outside tend do look older than they actually are.

I think that beautiful skin is one of the most important elements of beauty. Also, I feel that as one gets older, beautiful skin grows in importance. After seeing the show, I've understood why the phrase Akita-bijin/秋田美人” was coined and became so popular.