An Aura of Busyness and… Pockets?

person in red long sleeve shirt

On cold winter days, I would walk around with my hands in my pockets to keep them warm. Over time, I came to realise that I was the only person doing this, I hardly ever see a Japanese person with their hands in their pockets. So I did the natural thing and asked about it.

Turns out I was right. It's not socially acceptable in Japan to keep your hands in your pockets. Apparently it's changing though, and it's more common to see, along with people wearing hats indoors, but it made me think about the reasoning behind it.

Putting your hands in your pockets means you are not working. You are idle, and that's bad. In other words, an aura of busyness is important.

But what happens if you don't appear busy? Well, the same as most things in Japan, you will be socially outcast.

For someone who comes from the outside though, no matter what I do I'm a social outcast in one way or another. So, I guess I'll be keeping my hands in my pockets.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan

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