Beauty was defined differently in Old World Japan

What kind of face do you think of, when you heard the word “beautiful”?  For example, actresses like Mirei Kiritani, Satomoi Ishihara, Ryoko Yonekura, and Yui Aragaki…they are said to be “beautiful” these days.

All of the beautiful ladies have the kind of face said to be “pretty” or “beautiful” by everyone, so many people are attracted.

A  small face with big eyes, soft eyebrows, shapely and glossy lips, beautiful and clear white skin you may be tempted to touch, etc… The conditions for beauty are varied now, they seem different from those in the old days.

Those features of the face said to be beautiful at that time are different from those at present.
Rather slim and smaller face seems more attractive now. But a lady with a round and plump face was thought to be beautiful in the past.
Moreover, if a lady’s eyes are bigger,she looks attractive now, but the smaller eyes seem to have been better in the past.

As for eyebrows, Japanese women in the old days used to shave all of them, so basically they had no eyebrows. And they wtote them on the upper part than they actually were as makeup.

At present, deliberately left grown and rather broad eyebrows are popular, aren’t they? Because they make you look softer and more natural.

●How about that famous two women in the old days…?

Speaking of historically well-known women, “Murasaki Shikibu” and “Sei Shonagon”, aren’t they?
What kind of face did those two famous women have?

Murasaki Shikibu・・・Actually “normal”. Not very beautiful nor very ugly.

Sei Shonagon・・・Not very popular as she had naturally curly hair. Since the straight hair was one of the beauty conditions at that time.


●There once was a rule like this…

There was a rule that a woman should not show her face to somebody other than her husband then. Even her father was drawn a line at his daughter when she reached a certain age. Thus only her husband knew if she was beautiful or not. But other people became to know about it by rumor in the town. Incidentally, the former information about Sei Shonagon is from this kind of rumor.

●”Conditions for Beauty” in the old days…

・White skin
・Long and straight hair
・Smaller eyes and mouth
・Swollen cheeks(a face like Okame)
・Short eyebrows

Speaking of “Murasaki Shikibu”, it’s “Genjimonogatari”.

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