If people from Japan, China and South Korea were all in a room together, could you correctly identify which nationality was which simply by looking at their faces? The Global Times recently decided to test some foreigners on their ability to distinguish Asians. Participants were asked to look at three composite pictures based on distinctive features of the three nations, then match the faces with their nationalities.
A visitor tries a cosmetic roller during Diet & Beauty Fair Asia 2010 in Tokyo. Photos: CFP and Qi Xiajia/GT
I think Japanese people's eyes are bigger and more cornered while Chinese eyes' are straighter. Most South Koreans have chubby and oval faces. Also, there is a difference in the way Japanese, South Korean and Chinese people put on makeup. I think South Koreans care more about cosmetics. They usually wear red lipstick in the middle part of their lips, and they are famous for their perfect skin.
Chinese style is totally different. Chinese are more worried about their eyes. I see a lot of girls put some sticky stuff on their eyelids to make their eyes bigger. They also put on fake eyelashes and extra makeup, which is not necessary. As for Japanese, I don't think they use much makeup.
I would say Asian fashion is totally different from Western fashion. For me, whether it is Japanese, South Korean or Chinese, it all looks a little bit weird. I would never dress like this. For example, South Korean and Japanese girls putting on long socks with a very short skirt. It's from their culture to look like school girl. I would never do it in Russia, because it is way too sexy and provocative. On the contrary, Chinese girls try to look very diligent.
In the aspect of behavior, Chinese, South Koreans and Japanese are totally different. South Korean people can really have fun. They are crazy. Chinese girls are divided into two types. Some are so hardworking and polite. Others are crazy. I don't know a lot of Japanese people except for one Japanese girl. She behaves in a cute manner.
I think Japanese have slimmer faces, people in South Korea have more plastic surgery and Chinese have a typical Asian face. When you think of an Asian face you think more of that type of face. In terms of makeup and fashion, I think South Koreans tend to prefer fairer skin than Japanese and Chinese. They also dress trendier. People in Japan tend to be cute. In China people tend to apply natural makeup and there is no typical style. They do what they like.
I think Japanese people like to be in their own space. Here in China people are more helpful but maybe also crazy around you. For example, they may want to take photos with you. As for South Koreans, I think they are more open than Japanese but they don't show it. They are between Japanese and Chinese.
I think Chinese faces are a bit rounder than Japanese and Korean. They also wear less makeup. I think Japanese people like to have fairer skin and wear crazier outfits. In China, I think people dress in more varieties. There is more color and a lot more differences between people here. In terms of behavior, I think Japanese people are a bit more distant. In my impression, they work very hard. They sleep at their job. My brother used to work for a Japanese company and he said they work like crazy and so he quit.
I heard that Chinese people have rounder faces and flatter noses. Japanese people are paler with more makeup and South Korean people's eyes are less flat. I think people in China wear a lot of colors. In China, people are not afraid to choose something else and be different. I think Chinese people are very polite to tourists. Japanese are also polite but a little bit more introverted. They don't want to show their feelings to the outside world.
They all look the same. The Japanese have smaller eyes, perhaps. The Chinese use a lot of fake eyelashes and apply a lot of makeup on the eyes to make their eyes bigger, while South Koreans and Japanese put extra attention on their cheeks to appear cuter. Mostly in red and pink colors. They also use a lot of lip gloss to make their lips shiny.
I think the Japanese are fashionable. They look like school children and they wear short skirts and cute dresses. The Chinese dress more classical. I have seen people go to work in the morning. The colors are not bright but also smart and common. The Koreans like to wear brighter colors.
In China, people are really loud. If you go to a canteen you can't even hear the person you are talking to. So I feel the Chinese are not shy to arouse emotions. They are closer to European culture in that way. Japanese people are quieter. I heard that, in Japan's subway and public places, it is not allowed to talk loudly or to talk on the phone.
Jennifer, South Korean-American
I think the biggest distinguishing factor for Japanese is makeup and style (hairstyles, fashion). In addition, their behavior is more polite and cutesy. South Korean and Chinese may look and dress the same. Perhaps the difference is mostly in behavior. I feel Chinese people in general are more casual, in the way they speak, tone of voice, gestures, even comportment. South Koreans are more self-conscious and formal.
Cindy, South Korean-Canadian
As weird it is, I've actually never been good at distinguishing our differences. Doing so became even more difficult because now Chinese women wear more makeup. Before, like four years ago, only South Koreans and Japanese wore make up. If all three groups are wearing makeup, there's a definite difference in makeup style between Japanese and South Koreans. South Koreans wear makeup in junior high. They care a lot about their skin and apply more creams, while I think Japanese people care more about eye makeup and blushes.
A makeup artist works on a model's face for a contest in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province.