Why Japanese YouTubers wear masks? – Social medias and Japanese

Why Japanese YouTubers wear masks? - Social medias and Japanese Japanese Culture

Have you ever watched Japanese YouTuber’s video? You may wonder that why many of them wear masks.

In this article, I will write my opinion about the reason why many Japanese YouTubers were masks and about social medias of Japan. I think it connects to Japanese culture closely. Please let me make clear the word “mask”. It doesn’t mean to for medical. It is only for a costume.

This article is about Twitter. See also this one if you like.


Some readers may think, “I know already, I don’t need to be this article to explain it to me, that’s why Japanese people are shy and timid, and if they don’t wear masks, they cannot express themselves on the Internet, aren’t they?”

That is true in an aspect, but it is only one aspect of understanding. Since you’ve come to this article, you’re probably interested in this topic, so it doesn’t make you get to loss to know another side of it.

Company work rules – Prohibition of side jobs

Many Japanese companies have employment regulations that prohibit their employees from doing side jobs. Side jobs here include setting up a YouTube channel and posting videos to earn advertising revenue, as well as indirectly earning income from blogs, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Incidentally, all civil servants in Japan, who have to work with the same coworkers for literally the rest of their lives and have to deal with jealousy, envy, and jealousy from their colleagues, are not allowed to have a second job.

If an employee is found to be breaking the work rules and doing a side job, the company can fire the employee for the act. In some companies, this rule has becoming a mere shell, and unless the company can prove that the employee’s second job seriously affected the company’s operations, it cannot fire the employee.

However, it is common to use various methods to make employees feel uncomfortable in the company and force them to leave office, as well as the know-how to recommend leaving offices in the case of restructuring.

This means that people who work for these companies are not allowed to reveal their true faces, or even their identities, when they are active on social media for potential income.

Here is the first reason why Japanese must appear on social media wearing masks.

It is not really the core of if they have income or not

In fact, whether or not the employee is earning income from social media on the side is not the core of this issue.

The fact is that in Japanese companies, the emphasis is on whether the employees are literally contributing to the company with their whole heart and soul, and whether they are exerting their energy to the point of burnout and maximum productivity in their daily work. This means that the emphasis is on how exhausted you are at the end of the day, to put it bluntly, rather than on productivity as actually measured in a logically valid way.

“If an employee work every day with all your energy, there’s no way the employee will have the energy or time for a second job. If there is, it means the employee is lazy.”

The above is the dominant mindset of many Japanese corporate managers and employees. This view of work is a remnant of a time when Japan was once prosperous, when companies could literally keep their employees employed for life.

This is especially true of Japanese people of a certain age, who are completely consumed by their work, working overtime until midnight every day, and only going to bed when they get home. There are still many people who believe that businessmen who do not spend their days sleeping in exhaustion on holidays are unserious, lazy, and a nuisance to the company.

If people working for such a company try to fight against the company to use an asset the Labor Standards Law or try to reform the company by claiming that the above ideas are outdated, they will not win. So the quickest and most reasonable solution is to keep the fact that you have a second job thoroughly hidden.

Appearance and Japanese Culture

The following article summarizes the relationship between Japanese culture and appearance. Please refer to it if you like.

In Japanese culture, the manners hurdle of mentioning about other people’s appearance is probably different from other countries. Therefore, if one were to expose and express one’s true face on social media, one’s appearance would be the first important point of evaluation in Japan.

They may just want to introduce their favorite scenery, their prized motorcycle, or their managing restaurant, but their appearance is the first thing to be criticized.

On social media, mindless criticism such as “you’re ugly” or “your face is too plain to introduce that brand of bag” is relentlessly received. Some of these comments are not slanderous and are intended to be friendly, but it is up to the individual’s comprehension to determine this from the text alone.

In order to protect their minds from such criticism about their appearance and to continue expressing themselves on social media, they choose to wear masks.


Many of you may have seen videos on Japanese YouTube channels that use the above characters. These characters are called “Yuukuri (ゆっくり)” and are used by many Japanese YouTubers. It has become widespread because of its high-precision speech synthesis engine, which is free to use. Because so many Japanese use this format. In the past, YouTube misunderstood they are as copied content, there was an uproar when all advertising was stopped at once from all yuukuri videos.

Sekensama – Mutual Surveillance, Homogeneous

In a previous post, I raised homogeneity as something that very much characterizes Japanese culture. In Japan, social media activities are also heavily influenced by this homogeneity.

As with appearance, viewers and readers are not solely interested in what a person expresses, but rather how old he or she is, what kind of work he/she does, and how much education he/she has, and how much money he/she earn, etc.

It is considered important, even if it seems unrelated to what the individual wants to express. This is due to the homogeneity that dominates the Japanese. It is not what the person wants to express, but how well the person conforms to or deviates from the homogeneity required by the organization to which he or she belongs, and whether the person is living a desirable life style appropriate to his or her age that is checked first.

Those who are fed up with this and want to express themselves freely as a different person only on social networking sites choose to express themselves by wearing masks without showing their real faces or even parts of their bodies, a method with many restrictions in terms of expression.

On the other hand, even if one reveals one’s true face and identity, whether this leads to success or not is, of course, a case-by-case basis. Viewers can become powerful supporters or they can become enemies who relentlessly harass them.

In the worst case scenario, it is possible in Japan that someone will report your activity on social media to the company you work for, and you could find yourself in a very difficult position as a result.

Some people are successful while keeping their true faces and identities hidden, such as the YouTube channel “kiwami japan“.

No one knows who he is, but his channel has over 4.3 million subscribers and the comment section is filled with a wide variety of languages. The main content of the channel is about making knives out of various materials, but the originality of the idea and the universality of the idea, which does not require verbal explanation, must have grabbed the hearts of many viewers.

For more information about homogeneity, please refer to the following article.


In this article, I discussed why most Japanese YouTubers wear masks? through my thoughts. The reason behind this is deeply related to the way Japanese companies think about their workers and the homogeneity that is essential to understanding Japanese culture.

Thank you for reading to the end.

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