The Japanese Woman and her Stilettos

Japanese women love fashion, that's not a secret or a surprise for anybody. A lot of men, especially outside Japan, appreciate their sense of elegance and dress-code, sometimes at the edge of cosplay. But what's more 面白い amusing / interesting, from a Westerner point of view, is how Japanese girls walk in their heels.

High-heeled shoes are worn by a majority of Japanese women, especially in large cities (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto), and often as soon as a teenager. Some use this argument to explain why they're bowlegged. Others invoke the traditional seiza position which could contribute to deform the legs.

Anyhow, there's an amazing variety of approaches to high heels / stilettos, sometimes preposterous, with retracted feet (内股 uchimata) to exaggerate the kawaii posture. I sometimes wonder if their muscles and joints don't deteriorate and hurt too much walking like this... In Japan, is it really necessary to suffer to be beautiful?

I have rarely seen Japanese women fall, but they're sometimes very close to it, as it seems in this video I filmed in Japan:

For quite some time now, there has been a rise of the ペッタンコ靴 pettanko Kutsu in Japan: flat shoes such as ballet flats or sandals. Will they save Japanese girls' joints?

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Posted by Gael
Editor in chief
Gael is founder and responsible for Kanpai's publication. In love with Japanese culture, he travels to Japan regularly since 2003 and shares his information and tips.
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