Osaka and Tokyo Fashion News: Cosmetic Usage in Modern Japan

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Osaka and Tokyo Fashion News: Cosmetic Usage in Modern Japan

Sarah Deschamps and Michel Lebon

Modern Tokyo Times


In several surveys done related to ladies using make-up in Asia then Japanese ladies came out on top in major cities like Tokyo and Osaka. The surveys related to people between the ages of 18 and 59. Therefore, the entire major age group was covered in order to fully judge the overall picture.

If individuals don’t fully understand certain traits within Japanese culture related to the majority of ladies, then the result may appear to be based on beauty factors and materialism. However, the issues are very complex because much will depend on the respective individual. In saying that, you do have powerful factors behind the usage of make up throughout Japan despite most surveys only concentrating on Tokyo and Osaka in Japan.

The various surveys apply to women using make-up at least five times a week. In Tokyo and Osaka the results were that 80 per cent of women between 18 and 59 used make-up five times a week with the margin being very similar in both powerful cities. This was much higher than other major Asian cities which include Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai and Taipei.

Sadly the Kanebo survey excluded Osaka but other surveys also focused on this amazing city. After all, you have many stunning fashion districts in Osaka whereby you will find the crème de la crème of Japanese and international fashion. Alongside this, the Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto region caters for over 17 million people. Also, these three cities are ultra modern and the entire Kansai region is extremely rich in culture and history.


Aspects of Japanese culture apply to “looking good” and “feeling good.” This is further linked with social acceptance, norms within society and the power of presentation which carries a lot of importance in Japan. Of course, this is an “over simplification” even if these norms are accepted within society. After all, many individuals will care little about this angle but overall the lure of culture is extremely powerful. For this reason 80 per cent of Japanese ladies use make-up at least five times a week.

Of course major cosmetic companies fully understand this reality. Therefore, you have many major players within the domestic cosmetic market and likewise international brands vie for sales. Some of the most powerful cosmetic companies in the world are Japanese and Shiseido is a major powerhouse because of the luxury products they produce. Similarly, the fashion sector in major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Nagoya, Sendai, Nagasaki and Hiroshima is simply amazing.

At Kanebo’s Beauty Research Institute, it was stated that “The biggest difference we saw was the emphasis that Japanese women place on human relationships - in particular they care about being liked by others – while the women in the other cities are more concerned with personal growth through their work or studies.” 

It was noticeable from several findings that Tokyo and Osaka ladies emphasized the importance of a nice balance between work and everyday life. Also, being considerate to others was highly valued in Tokyo and Osaka. However, in other Asian cities personal development and being feminine were singled out. Overall, women used make up between 23% less to 42% less, when applied to using five times a week, in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and Taipei. This gap is noticeable and clearly cultural factors played an important role in this reality.

Lee Jay Walker gave support to both main writers

MODERN TOKYO TIMES IMAGES  (Chayamachi – Osaka) (Harajuku – Tokyo)  (Namba – Osaka) (Shibuya – Tokyo)

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