I was once walking down the street with my Japanese friend when a blonde, blue eyed woman passed by. He immediately turned to me and asked, “Where is she from?” I was instantly confused. How was I supposed to know that? He was adamant that he could tell the difference between Japanese and other Asians. Being from the U.S., the famed “melting pot” where birthplace is more usually more important than bloodline, this idea was strange and somewhat ridiculous to me.
It turns out that it’s a relatively common belief in Japan (and other Asian cultures, too, as shown in the video above) that you can look at someone’s face and know where they’re from based on genetic appearance. I’ve had other friends and past boyfriends express this to me as well, pointing to other people in Shinjuku and telling me, “Oh, that person is Korean. I know because [insert random facial feature information here]”
I wanted to find out if there was any truth to this.