‘Japanese Don’t Age,’ Netizens Respond To Foreigner’s Views

A thread on the Reddit ‘subreddit’ r/Japan earlier this month concerning a train advertisement with a mother and her son garnered quite a lot of reactions from Japanese netizens. A Japanese-language translation was posted on media translation site Honyakusitem, emphasizing the foreigners’ astonishment that the mother did not seem to age in the 14 years between the photographs.

This served as a catalyst for netizens to talk about the differences between Asians and other races, as well as celebrities who seem to defy the aging process.


From Honyakusitem

‘Do Japanese Ever Get Older?’ Foreigners React To Bullet Train Advertisements

2012 Bullet Train Campaign Poster


Reactions from foreigners who’ve seen the poster:


Is she a clone?


More proof that Japanese women don’t age at all.


All those centenarians didn’t die, they just ascended to higher forms.


They do [get older], but in their own way.



This repost never gets old for me. So true. Most of them just melt.


She clearly has aged quite a lot. The signs of aging are different in Asians, so I’m not surprised you missed them. Look how taut her skin has gotten, and how the skin around her eyes is starting to sag.


I really wish she had been holding him in her arms in the second photo.  Would have been awesome.


This is amazing photoshopping.


It’s real.


Do we know if the photos were indeed taken 14 years apart?


To close the debate, the posters were created by simply asking people to send their old family pictures in front of a shinkansen, some were selected and the current version of the pic was taken.


I actually really love this campaign. There’s also the poster of three kids (two girls, one boy) then and now, and it’s hilarious. The girls grew up to be cute and poised women, and the boy is freaking goofy as hell.





Interesting. Are there more posters?


There’s this one of a sister and a brother. She’s got her family with her in the later one


Comments from Honyakusitem:


That’s a nice mom in that last one.


They’re all nice. All of these posters.


I know this is just mimicking memes from overseas, but they really didn’t need to go as far as wearing similar clothes.  It seems too contrived. That’s the only part that doesn’t fit well.


Oh, and how would you feel if it was even more contrived? w


You wouldn’t be able to tell who’s who if they didn’t wear similar clothing. Advertising is a game of momentary impacts. I think it’s classy that they didn’t spell it out with ‘Then’ and ‘Now’. Are there any advertisements that aren’t contrived?


Japanese also get older, but our heads are big, we have low nasal bridges, and it’s said that we are slender, so it’s just that foreigners can’t tell our ages because of our inherent childlike characteristics.  In addition, we look a little bit different from Northern Asians like Mongols and Koreans because our faces are a bit round, furthering the childish image.  Southeast Asians are also very young looking. Anyway, someone wrote something like ‘The girl is hot but the guy looks like am idiot’ about the second picture and that really made me laugh.  But, you know, nice people usually are like that. Also, the third picture cracked me up because the brother’s hairstyle didn’t change at all.


Caucasians have dirty skin.Japanese have clean skin. That’s why Japanese appear younger.


Koreans are the ones with the big heads, aren’t they? w


‘Isn’t it common knowledge that yellow people have bigger heads than white people? I think it’s in bad form to say anything bad about Koreans, particularly.’if I said that you’d call me a Japan-born Korean, eh? w


Nah, I don’t think you’re a Japan-born Korean. Compared to blacks and whites, the heads of the yellow races are wider and therefore seem bigger. However, amongst them, Koreans’ heads appear especially larger, hence they must actually be big.


Having a big head is nothing to be ashamed of in Europe and America. A while ago, Nakai from SMAP complemented Madonna saying she had small face, however, she got angry and said ‘It’s not small!’ In Europe and America, having a small face or head means that you have a small brain (=not very smart). That’s why Madonna got pissed.


No way! The mom in the first photo is so old! You must have bad eyesight if you can’t see that. The one with the brother and sisters is good. The girl on the right did the same pose to a tee. w These kinds of pictures just warm the heart.


Foreigners get obese when they get older so it’s easy for us to tell. w


Foreigners pretending to be Japanese and trolling other countries is really coming into fashion on the net in Japan, isn’t it?


All citizens of Japan should be assigned their own IPv6. If they do that, everyone would get a unique IP making their country of origin known. However, we’d lose the ability to be ‘Anonymous.’

From TekitouJournal:


The first thing I noticed was the cool, good-looking husband in the sixth picture. I’m not gay, though.


This 50 year old that I know is unbelievably cute.They don’t look a day over 35.Sometimes there are people that really amaze you.


Before you go to bed at night, use moisturizing cream. When you wash your face in the morning, use moisturizing cream. Change up your afternoon face washing by adding more moisturizing cream. I’m a 45 year old man but I pass for 25.


It’s because we Japanese are eternally 12 years old.


Even abroad, photographers and designers make creations using the techniques of mimicry. I guess they were just adopting those techniques. Like this:



It’s because white people’s appearances get older terribly quick. Black men start to look like old men in their late teens. Black women also start looking like old men.


Depends on the person.  Emma Watson has done well to preserve her youth.


You’re right. She’s turned out to be quite the handsome man.


Araki Hirohiko looks young because he uses the ripple technique. [Note: The ‘Ripple Technique‘] is derived from Araki Hirohiko’s manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. It is used to preserve appearance of youth among other things]


Check this, too.

[Note: Actor/Comedian Katsumata Kunikazu]


Hasn’t changed a bit! w w


This cute little girl grew up to be…


Amazing w. I thought at the end he’d look at his daughter in a wedding gown and contrast her with when she was a kid, but I didn’t see that coming!w


Aww, I thought this was an Araki and Komori thread…She’s 51.

Komori Manami still keeps young

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