Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Japanese Peace Sign

Have you ever been perplexed why almost every Japanese person will pose with a "peace sign" when taking a photo? I think it's awesome, but that never answered my question. I found this, and it seems to explain this phenomenon.
Have you ever noticed the "peace sign" (aka the victory or V-sign) that Japanese people make with their fingers whenever they're having their photographs taken? It's almost the Japanese National Gesture, and quite puzzling to foreigners who wonder why every single Japanese seems to make this sign in every photograph, especially cute girls. While the origins of this strange pose are not known, I would guess that U.S. soldiers probably made the sign (originally popularized by Winston Churchill) while posing for photographs during Japan's occupation, and it entered the Japanese mind set at that time. When you say "peace" your face naturally smiles, the same as saying "cheese." Another way the Japanese get you to smile for a photograph is asking, "What's one plus one?" (in Japanese, Ichi tasu ichi wa?). The answer of course is ni (two), another word that naturally makes your face smile for the camera.

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