What Is The Average Height In Japan

Are you curious about the average height in Japan? Why are they perceived as being shorter than in other nations? And how does it feel to be a tall foreigner living in Japan?

Our height can be an advantage and disadvantage for us. For example, it’s advantageous to us because it helps us look taller than other people, but it’s disadvantageous when we find ourselves among small-sized Japanese people.

Moreover, being tall might be an advantage to some Japanese people in sports, especially those athletes that I am going to introduce to you.

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While browsing the internet during my first trip to Japan, I became curious about this subject and began to wonder why.

Just like me, you are curious to know more about Japan. This article will excite you to know and gather information about what the average height is in Japan.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

What Is The Average Height In Japan

The Average Height In Japan 

Source: Instagram

In general, Japanese people are shorter than people from other nations.

The average height of a Japanese man is 1.72 meters, while a woman is 1.58 meters, with a potential height of 1.60 meters.

Genetics and nutrition are two of the main causes of why Japanese people are typically shorter than people from other nations. A parent’s bloodline can pass on a person’s height. The likelihood of a child being taller than their parents increases with parental height.

Food intake and height are related. One component of it is a diet. People in Japan don’t consume a lot of protein.

Protein is well-known to be crucial for growth. Additionally, pregnant Japanese women are shamed into maintaining their current weight and refraining from overeating for fear of developing a “fat” and “ugly” pregnancy.

This lack of eating results in the baby absorbing fewer nutrients and having a lower birth weight. As a result, babies with lower birth weights mature into adults who are shorter. Because of this, Japanese generations have gotten a little bit shorter since the 1980s.

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In addition, most Japanese citizens are old people, considering it has an effect on the calculation of the average height of males and females. Due to their age, their body structure has something to do with their height which makes their spinal cord arched column. 

Tallest Japanese People

The majority of Japanese people are not as short as those from other countries, and Japan is also home to some of the tallest Japanese people in the world. 

The top 3 tallest Japanese people are listed below.

Yoshimitsu Matsuzaka – 7 ft 9.5 in (237.5cm)

Tallest Japanese People
Source: Instagram

was born in 1920 and died at the age of 42 in 1962.

Giantism is the abnormal growth of a person’s body in a known Japanese male. Yoshimitsu, a handyman, was unable to carry his body due to health problems, so he was taken to the hospital.

Yoshimitsu Matsuzaka has enormous hands that are also referred to as “Shekarabi” or “Big Fingers.”

Yasutaka Okayama – 7 ft 8 in (2.34 m)

He is Japan’s tallest known giant. Yasutaka is a basketball player who plays professionally in Japan. He was born in Kumamoto Prefecture on November 29, 1954. (Kyushu region).

In the sport he chooses, his height works to his advantage. He can use his size to his advantage to shoot more efficiently.

He represented Teikyo High School throughout his high school career and played in the 70th high school All Japan Basketball High School tournament (present-day Kumamoto University).

Megumi Kawamura – 1.9 m (6’4″)

Her height became an asset for her team (NEC Red Rockets) and for her modeling career, making her a notable figure in the history of Japanese volleyball players.

She was soon featured in a TV program about Japan’s tallest primary school student. Her impressive performances after starting high school initially caught the attention of the national volleyball teams.

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Megumi, also known as Meg (her nickname), was born in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, on July 12, 1983.

Japanese vs East Asian Average Height 

The average heights of men and women in East Asian countries are displayed in a table I created.

East Asia countriesFemales’ Average HeightMales’ Average Height
China154.5 cm (5′ 0.8″)164.8 cm (5′ 4.9″)
HongKong158.8 cm (5′ 2.6″)170 cm (5′ 7″)
Japan158.8 cm (5′ 2.6″)171.2 cm (5′ 7.4″)
Mongolia156.8 cm (5 ft 1+12 in)167.8 cm (5 ft 6 in)
North Korea154.9 cm (5 ft 1 in)165.6 cm (5 ft 5 in)
South Korea162.56 cm (5′ 4″)175.26 cm (5′ 9″)
Taiwan159.68 cm (5′ 2.75″)171.45 cm (5′ 7.5″)

From the table, we see that there is quite a 2–10 cm difference between the average height of females and males.

To compare the height differences between the Japanese female and other East Asians, there are two and not more than seven centimeters differences among the eight countries in East Asia.

In the case of males, the only height difference between South Korean males and Japanese males is around 4 cm, which we consider average or kind of tall for the average height of East Asians.

The average height of the world is relatively close to the average height of a female when compared to that of Japan.

The expected average height for a female should be 163 cm (5 ft 4.3 in), and the expected average height for a male should be 176.5 cm, based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) growth reference standards. The male, however, somehow falls short of the global average height.

According to a study, the improvement in public health and nutrition over the past century has contributed to the average Japanese person’s height rising by more than 15 cm.

Tall Foreigners Living In Japan

Most of us dream of living in Japan because of its culture, traditions, and technological advancement, and also pursued by the anime that we mostly watch. 

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Tall Foreigners Living In Japan

For some of us dreamers, the day has come, to visit/live in Japan, but what does it feel like to be in that place? 

Some foreigners who are tall, they most likely to have disadvantages as well as advantages, those disadvantages are their following statements and mostly experienced:

Most of the burdens they discussed are the drawbacks of living in Japan. One of those is the signage in the train station and inside a train. Tall foreigners always hit their heads against the sign boards, apartment dividers, doors, and kitchen work.

 As I quoted from a foreigner that used to live in  Japan: “I would probably have learned quicker if I didn’t kill so many brain cells by hitting my head all the time”

Extra large size or Big sizes of clothes and footwear are a common problem for tall foreigners when going shopping, they have a hard time looking for their respective sizes. To add more, some foreigners import their shoes from a different country just to have something to wear.  

“Anything beyond a US10 is nearly impossible to find. Direct import will also probably be costly as for some reason my shoe imports always get caught by customs resulting in a consumption tax bill”

Furthermore, some tall foreigners have difficulties with public transportation. On a bus, they are most likely to purchase 2 tickets for only a tall foreigner, because they are forced to sit sideways to have a comfortable seat. 

Some people say that when you are a tall foreigner in Japan, you are most likely to get Japanese attention, and I agree with it. Over the past few years, people in Tokyo have not focused more attention on foreigners than they used to before. The idea of the tallest foreigners can be described as “the height of how foreign you are.”

Some claim that your height is a quality that would make you attractive to others, while others argue that it is more about your charisma and personality.

Either way, you shouldn’t really base your opinion of someone’s attractiveness on their height. Having one or many nationalities should be something to be proud of. Just remember that many people admire you for being a part of your nationality.

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