COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.
lifestyle

Japanese men turn to parasols to beat the heat

75 Comments
By Teppei Kasai

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

75 Comments
Login to comment

just put on the green visor hat the oldies are wearing !!!!

Or just wear the " BLUEMAN " make up !!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Women in Japan want paler skin because (Spoiler) Japanese men like women with paler skin. haha not a mystery. As for Parasols for men...I'll stick with my extra long sweat soaked towel. That and a hat. Though, if anyone else feels the need...more power to ya.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Parasols are super duper sissy for men, and just plain irritatingly stupid for women. As long as you are not working outside all day, a bit of sunlight is normal and good for you.

Next thing we are going to see men wearing those uber-ridiculous big visor hats and fake sleeves, too.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Don't really know if it's "sissy" or not, but I think if men want to use umbrellas to keep in the shade, then nothing wrong with that. I'm pretty sure the many seemingly "macho" tanned men I see with blotchy looking tans that have melanoma written all over them, and the many crow's feet and other wrinkles caused by the sun I see on those who obviously have taken too much sunshine in their lives, probably wish they had taken more precautions to keep out of the sun. Fact is, that a heavy tan will cause you to have more wrinkles and will quickly age you. I've seen several people who look 10-15 years older than they are because of heavy tanning.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But sadly, Abe, places like Switzerland with lots of snow also have very high UV in the winter...

Yes, So spot on!

But most people don't know that. If women knew that, they would be sporting their parasols in the cold winter too. This is what I meant by being consistent. Don't just take it out in the Summer, use it all year round!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

lucabrasi - Common sense tells us that an umbrella is used to shield one from the rain as even a few seconds in a downpour is going to drench you. A guy walking around with a parasol for a 5-10 min walk? Sissy. (and I'm sure 95% of men, women and children would think the same thing when confronted by such a sight)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@hoserfella

"Men" walking around outdoors with Parasols is just plain sissy

How is it any more or less "sissy" than walking around with an umbrella? It's essentially the same thing. If you saw a photo of a bloke holding something over his head, and couldn't tell from the picture whether it was an umbrella or a parasol, how would you decide on the sissiness factor? Or would he be simutlaneously sissy and non-sissy in a Schrödinger's cat kind of way?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I took my manbrella for two 1 km walks in the direct sunshine today. At the end of each I felt cool, calm and collected. I'm a true convert and believer now!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Lowly

Why do we have to stick with this ridiculous business uniform in the face of muggy summers (never mind climate change)?

Because in Japan, appearance is everything.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

lachatamber - You read too much into it. "Men" walking around outdoors with Parasols is just plain sissy.

I think you just proved his point.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Usually don't complain about thumbs-downed, but,

C'mon guys, 3 thumbs dn for suggesting we wear shorts and short-sleeves when it's hot, and then keep the ac at medium instead of fridge level so we're not too cold when we're inside?

I hate the heat, esp the humidity, too, but half of the exhaustion of summer is traveling between the polar regions of banks, conbini, offices and trains, and the tropics of outside and any other un-ac-ed place.

Then we won't be as likely to need the umbrellas, manbrellas womanbrellas, parasols, or what-have-you.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

men who are embarrassed to do typically feminine things are hilarious. get over yourselves. not only does it show a tremendous amount of insecurity but it indicates a high level of misogyny as well.

lachatamber - You read too much into it. "Men" walking around outdoors with Parasols is just plain sissy. I'm pretty sure that last statement won't see me struggle not to go to新宿二丁目tonight, but if mincing about is mincing about. Hell, even gay guys will look at some of their own and say "Thats taking it a bit far"

0 ( +5 / -5 )

men who are embarrassed to do typically feminine things are hilarious. get over yourselves. not only does it show a tremendous amount of insecurity but it indicates a high level of misogyny as well.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Hilarious how many "real" men don't want to use umbrellas. Really? Real men don't care what others think... is that hard to follow?

In the old days, it was normal for both sexes of various walks of life to wear a hat of some description plus carry a fan. Naturally wearing a hat for some women would not show their looks off well so they would use a parasol.

Quite sensible in this era to use an umbrella, which is basically a hat on the end of a stick. A wet bandana etc around your neck works wonders too.

For a laugh, google "Samurai Umbrella" images. They're funny, but I imagine the police, and a few others, don't like them much.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

heck i got an idea stay out of the sun!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fortunately, I will leave this warm, tropical place in a couple of months, and then...back to the highlands!... ^_^

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ dragsby: Yes, but since those places - like my home city in Mexico - are colder, you keep yourself much more covered, which protects your skin. I enjoy more cold places.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Serrano: No, because I go to the physics laboratory to work. Thus, I must go out early and come back at sunset or night. At weekends, I DO STAY indoors.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But sadly, Abe, places like Switzerland with lots of snow also have very high UV in the winter...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I must live in a cold city, little city, little ball of snow...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I suppose it's OK for men to carry parasols, as long as they walk like John Wayne, ha ha!

Abe - "I must get out of the house early morning and return at sunset to avoid getting burned and overheated"

Don't you mean "I must stay indoors from early morning to sunset to avoid getting burned and overheated"?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm Mexican, currently living in south Brazil, the sun BURNS here! Even wearing an umbrella, you can feel the burning rays on your skin. I'm neither white nor dark, but reddish-skined and I must get out of the house early morning and return at sunset to avoid get burned and overheated.

The worst part is that there is no real winter here! It sucks...

I need a spacesuit!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But the real jump in sales came last summer, after power cuts in the wake of the March 11 disaster prompted new ways to beat the heat.

I doubt that the reason is power cuts. Parasols are solely useful for cutting out direct sunlight outside. Power cuts have nothing to do with keeping cool outside. If anything people should be cooler from Cool Biz and with air conditioning set lower, less heat is pumped outside.

Also, some posters suggested wearing a hat. It's not quite the same, the hat still gets hot in the sun and your head gets sweaty.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Despite the assumption about pale skin that some posters here may be making, the article itself mentions a direct link between summer heat and a jump in parasol purchases, which suggests another motivation, namely keeping cool.

Indeed, a hat, long-sleeved shirt, and/or sunscreen would not have much effect on the heat from being under direct sun.

Locally, in this part of Canada, I have seen some men of African origin use black umbrellas as parasols, and they look anything but sissy. Perhaps, it is a tradition in some parts of Africa.

Finally, you might do well to avoid projecting your western (and American?) prejudices on others' choice of means to keep cool...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It makes sense to use an UV-cut umbrella in summer days. You don't get sweaty, you save energy and you won't get exhausted as soon as you walk 50m.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sounds like an excuse after the fact. They've been showing up for work sweaty, unbathed, and reeking of halitosis for the last half century. Why the sudden 'concern'?

I highly doubt it's sudden, in my nearly 3 decades of living in Okinawa, where the UV is stronger and the summer much longer, seen many men who took great care in working at not showing up like you refer to here.

Of course they were probably the exception to the rule, but I sure was glad when I had to sit next to them in meetings vs guys who didnt give a crap.

Who cares whether they use, (and I love the term!) a manbrella, if it keeps them cool, more power to them!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Those are not MEN.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Wow. I used to hate dodging all the women on the crowded sidwalks around Tokyo with their parasols. Now you poor folks have to deal with the girlie-men carrying them as well. Have a great summer.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

There would be a huge business opportunity for someone to come out with a parasol, but call it a Man Protector, or Man Shield.

Hey, this isn't a parasol, it's a MANBRELLA... :-)

How about UVCondom? Or UVC for short? It's all in the marketing and branding to make it manly enough for those who have to worry about it. Men never used to wear earrings, go to hairdressers or get facials, manicures, pedicures and massages either.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

bass4funk - I saw 2 men sharing a parasol more than a month ago! Must be they are staying indoors from sunup to sunset now, ha ha!

Sorry Serrano and bassfunk, but I've shared an umbrella with my father before. Like I said, I don't give a flying monkey what people think.

smithinjapan:

I may die from it, or just get heatstroke, but no way I'm opening up a parasol unless I'm protecting something besides myself.

Your choice, entirely.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

but don't care about their eyes, no sunglasses, cause for getting premature cataracts.

All the major sellers in Japan of normal glasses these days make them 99% UV block. You don't need sunglasses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sushi - Could you submit a photo of yourself holding a parasol for picture of the day? We need a real man for the picture of the day!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"manbrella" is good, but according to one of my students, the word should be "sunbrella", for a man or woman. And back in England, with its obsession with class and status, we call the cheap, clear vinyl umbrellas available anywhere for ¥150, "scumbrellas". Lovely folk, we English.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

it started with shaving their eyebrows then light make-up and airy-girly fashions. Now they have crossed the final frontier to the parasol.

re rudeness showing up sweaty. How about shorts and short-sleeve shirts, open neck? And then don't set the air-con to "refrigerator" when you're inside. Why do we have to stick with this ridiculous business uniform in the face of muggy summers (never mind climate change)?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Sorry, I know that having a parasol would be entirely practical, especially given my fair skin and proneness to burning the colour of a cooked lobster, but I just can't do it. Nor would I wear the slanted, shaded 'meant for golf' attachments to my hat, glovers that cover my arms, or ride a bicycle that is twice my weight.

I may die from it, or just get heatstroke, but no way I'm opening up a parasol unless I'm protecting something besides myself.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How kawaii, men holding parasol. LOL.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I hate carrying things in my hand. Let alone sharing it with some guy. I wear a cap, does the job just fine.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

bass4funk - I saw 2 men sharing a parasol more than a month ago! Must be they are staying indoors from sunup to sunset now, ha ha!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There's only one thing funnier than a man using a parasol, and that's 2 men sharing one!

Now that would be a real eye opener!

@Stephen

You might be onto something, is there a patent for that?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Sushi

Oh yes there are. Basic psychology says people always scream loudest about the things they fear the most (that's why vehement gay-bashers often turn out to be homosexuals themselves).

Nice try at trying to hide your insecurities, but like I said earlier - clear as day. :-

Bottom line is if you were truly secure in your manhood, you wouldn't give a crap about using a parasol.

Game.

Set.

Match. :-)

Clearly not the case. :-)

ROFLMAO you know absolutely nothing about me, nothing at all, so you think what you want to think, because that is the only thing you have a though, a speculation, a guess, but that's all you have. I think, I would probably know myself a little bit better. Anyway, how you think about me is irrelevant. I am a man, old fashioned and proud. Not hiding anything, if you think so and it helps you sleep well, more power to you, but it is clear as day, I am what I am and I can give a "crap" about whatever I feel. Checkmate!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stephen - Manbrella

That.......is brilliant. Seriously.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There's only one thing funnier than a man using a parasol, and that's 2 men sharing one!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Hey, this isn't a parasol, it's a MANBRELLA... :-)

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Long shirts, hats, sunblock if you're outside for any length of time. Parasols are just plain sissy.

I don't give a monkeys whether it's sissy or not. I'll use an umbrella when it's really sunny as I don't want to wear long pants and long sleeves when it's approaching 35 or 40 degrees (use a calculator if you want that in Fahrenheit).

I have rather dark arms and yet the rest of my body isn't so dark. And I don't want leathery skin in a few year's time. I also knew an American (Caucasian) who was really pale and obviously HAD to avoid the sun - guess what - he used a parasol/umbrella too.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Why do they have to wear suits and shoes, I wonder?

Isn't that what's making them hot and sweaty?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Cos

I look at the sky, not the calendar, even less at what the herd does. I don't see why it's different for men.

Good point, never follow the herd. I am always surprised that people here worry so much about their skin, but don't care about their eyes, no sunglasses, cause for getting premature cataracts.

I admire you if you're sweaty, stinky, the hair is chaos after going to repair the Fukushima plant, or wet and dirty for diving into the mud to save some tsunami victim. But if you've messed your suit, hairstyle, grooming for...for what ? You're not sissy. Just pathetic.

Lol, that's what I'm talking about.

@Sushi-believe me, there are absolutely ZERO insecurities here. Cool and confident as a cucumber. I just have a difference with Cleo as to what a quote on quote a man is. Grunting SUV, don't get it. Anyway, I use sunblock, always wear sunglasses and use common sense instead of watching TV and following the general masses and buy into the latest trend that Japan sports. Now what other people do, I could care less.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

If there were more trees in the cities and less concrete then such silly accessories wouldn't be necessary.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why don't they just wear the wide brim straw hats seen in old Japanese prints ?

That arranges your brushing... They are not convenient if it suddenly winds or rains, and then store that in the subway, in the meeting rooms when you visit customers... I have a huge collection of fancy straw hats, but I don't take them to work or wherever I go by public transportation as I'd just bother everybody. Some of them don't even pass in the stairs at my local station (it's narrow). You can easily fold down those ombrelles and tuck them in your bag. I always have one.

so if you carry a parasol, then carry it all the time.

That's what many do. For that and sunglasses. I look at the sky, not the calendar, even less at what the herd does. I don't see why it's different for men.

plain sissy.

I admire you if you're sweaty, stinky, the hair is chaos after going to repair the Fukushima plant, or wet and dirty for diving into the mud to save some tsunami victim. But if you've messed your suit, hairstyle, grooming for...for what ? You're not sissy. Just pathetic.

Got a nice Nike Hip Pouch for cyclists,

And you wear it on the head ? You sure must look like one virile bonobo...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm from California, WTH is a "Rain Jacket?"

Oh, I didn't realise it doesn't rain in California. Silly me. And perhaps you could google rain jacket - though I am pretty sure you know what it is and are just being factious. I'm going to go with you using an umbrella. How sissy of you.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Readers, enough of this nonsense. Please focus your comments on the story and not at each other.

blah blah blah, sunblock cream causes cancer, blah blah blah

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Bass - "I'm a man as they come, but if I saw a guy sporting one, his business, his prerogative, but for me, it would be a very unmanly thing to do."

Ouch! The insecurities! Clear as day.

It's like men who 'need' to fling themelves behind the wheel of grunting SUV. Also, masive insecurities. :-)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Nessie - "JUST DON'T CALL IT A PARASOL!"

Ha ha, I have the same problem – when I think ‘parasol’, I think 19th century upper-class French woman.

There’d be a huge business opportunity for someone to come out with a parasol, but call it a Man Protector, or Man Shield. 

5 ( +6 / -1 )

That's your personal opinion

Isn't that what JT comments are for, to express a personal opinion?

has nothing to do with feeling secure. ..... for me, it would be a very unmanly thing to do.

For me, a man worrying about what impression he might be giving others (which as you say, is none of their business in the first place) is an unmanly thing to do. If it means he puts up with being physically uncomfortable for the sake of what others think, all the more so.

For me, a man should be a man

For me, too. I guess we have different ideas about what being a man entails. As far as I'm concerned, the clothes do not make the man.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Do you use an umbrella when it rains?? Rain jacket, hat.... Or do you also look like a sissy??

I'm from California, WTH is a "Rain Jacket?"

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

@cleo

There's no greater turn-off than a man who worries about looking sissy. If you're secure in your manhood, you can walk around in frilly pink knickerbockers and carry a lacy parasol decorated with baby ducklings and bunches of daffodils, and you'll still look manly. If you're fretting about looking sissy, no amount of macho fashion is gonna help you

That's your personal opinion, but as a man and as MOST men would look at that as a very feminine thing, has nothing to do with feeling secure. I'm a man as they come, but if I saw a guy sporting one, his business, his prerogative, but for me, it would be a very unmanly thing to do. For me, a man should be a man, if he is a girlie-man, that makes things a bit different. Otherwise, a man should look like and act like a man, in every sense of the word.

I don't follow the logic of that. There's no should about it, except surely that people - men and women - should do what they feel comfortable doing. And never mind what the bloke next door is doing - he's in his skin, you're in yours.

Yeah, I get it, just saying for arguments sake, people do what they want (hell, I always do) but if they want to follow the herd to just wanting to be like everyone else, I have a problem with that.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

Why don't they just wear the wide brim straw hats seen in old Japanese prints ?

I've got one of those. I love it, but they're heck on trains.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Parasols? Why don't they just wear the wide brim straw hats seen in old Japanese prints ?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

use a black rubber umbrella. that's what I used to do in hawaii since it could be sunny one day and rainy another day

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Long shirts, hats, sunblock if you're outside for any length of time. Parasols are just plain sissy.

Do you use an umbrella when it rains?? Rain jacket, hat.... Or do you also look like a sissy??

0 ( +5 / -5 )

There's no greater turn-off than a man who worries about looking sissy. If you're secure in your manhood, you can walk around in frilly pink knickerbockers and carry a lacy parasol decorated with baby ducklings and bunches of daffodils, and you'll still look manly. If you're fretting about looking sissy, no amount of macho fashion is gonna help you.

if you are going that route, then these people need to do it not only Summer, they should use it during the other seasons as well. UV may be the strongest in the summer, so if you carry a parasol, then carry it all the time.

I don't follow the logic of that. There's no should about it, except surely that people - men and women - should do what they feel comfortable doing. And never mind what the bloke next door is doing - he's in his skin, you're in yours.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Not needed, just wear reasonable clothing that allow for air-flow and keep hydrated.

Got a nice Nike Hip Pouch for cyclists, holds a 500ml sports bottle and Iplod and a separate pocket for money/keys/etc.

I even use when going for extended shopping trips, etc. Just be careful what you will the bottle with as many drinks will make things worse.

Plus riding a bicycle holding an umbrella or even having one attached is illegal.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

"...sales of men’s sun umbrellas sharply higher..."

Sales might be sharply higher, but from what level? I've yet to witness a guy in Tokyo using an umbrella for something else other than rain.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Parasols for "men"?

Long shirts, hats, sunblock if you're outside for any length of time. Parasols are just plain sissy.

Nessie, you may call it a "super collapsable UV-cutting, travel this-or-that" if it makes you feel better, but if you use it for shade against the sun, it's a PARASOL.

I totally agree. Men that carry them, I'm sorry, have to agree with horsefella here. I have been seeing a few men wearing them. But I think like with everything, you can over do it. I don't have a problem with anyone wanting to protect there skin, but in Japan, a lot of people over do it. But I think, if you are going that route, then these people need to do it not only Summer, they should use it during the other seasons as well. UV may be the strongest in the summer, so if you carry a parasol, then carry it all the time.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

I've been half seriously thinking of using not a 'parasol' but an 'umbrella.'

As a melanoma survivor, I'd much rather look dorkish than have cancer again. Already wear a hat but wear short sleeves and think sun cream's not enough.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Hallelujah! I've always envied the women here their personal, portable shade but I've been too sissy to use one myself. Now I can proudly carry my own parasol/umbrella/sunshade/whatever. Aaaaah. I feel cooler already!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Most of them buy it for business when they have to step outside of the office to go to a meeting. They feel that it's rude to show up to work or a meeting all sweaty and worn out from the heat.

Sounds like an excuse after the fact. They've been showing up for work sweaty, unbathed, and reeking of halitosis for the last half century. Why the sudden 'concern'?

7 ( +16 / -9 )

Well said Cleo!

I don't see why this is an issue. Sexism at best. If men don't want to get burned, why should anyone mock them for it? We complain that people are out getting sunstroke and then JT runs this and mocks the men who cover up?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Parasols for "men"?

Long shirts, hats, sunblock if you're outside for any length of time. Parasols are just plain sissy.

Nessie, you may call it a "super collapsable UV-cutting, travel this-or-that" if it makes you feel better, but if you use it for shade against the sun, it's a PARASOL.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

A Thompson-Reuters newbie writer has rediscovered the wheel. I remember reading a similar story five years ago in the ACCJ Journal.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@A+b/a=a/b=?

He once wrote that it was more of a subconscious decision not to have dark skin, which would reflect a lower caste person

I've been told this by more than one woman from more than one country. It's got nothing to do with beauty. The thinking is that lower class women have to labor, so they have dark skin. Upper class women don't have to work, so they can stay indoors.

I also have a friend in the U.S. who is a chemist. He works for a beauty products company. One of their big sellers is some kind of skin bleach, and their biggest customers for that product are Asian women.

Call it what you want, but it all boils down to a display of wealth, real or faked.

Wealth, not beauty.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

it was more of a subconscious decision not to have dark skin, which would reflect a lower caste person, whereby light-skin would signify a higher status.

It's always been my understanding that in agricultural countries where poor people work out in the fields under the sun, a pale skin was a sign of class (ie people who can afford to stay indoors) while in industrial countries where poor people work in factories and get little sun, a tanned skin was a sign of class (ie people who can afford to spend time outdoors.) Hence the popularity of fake tanning in countries like the UK, and the desire for white skin in Japan. Nowadays when so many in Japan work in offices that doesn't apply so much - the longer you work, the less time you spend in the sun - but the old ideas linger on.

The idea of parasols for men is basically good sense - if it makes you feel cooler on a hot hot day, why not? A hat may shade the face, but it also gives you a sweaty head around the band. Not good.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I take a super-collapsable mini umbrella when I travel in the tropics. Keeps out the rain, and the fabric has a "UV cut" function. Keeps me cool, dry and unburned. Very practical.

JUST DON'T CALL IT A PARASOL!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

First it was bras for Japanese men and now this. Ever heard of a hat?

5 ( +12 / -7 )

White, natural skin has long been thought beautiful for Asian women, and Japanese men have also become increasingly skin-conscious in recent years.

Maybe Edwin O. Reischauer had it wrong. He once wrote that it was more of a subconscious decision not to have dark skin, which would reflect a lower caste person, whereby light-skin would signify a higher status. But admittedly, the humidity here in Japan, during the summer, is unbearable.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites