Wearing a low-cut top in Japan

It may seem like a weird question but it is one worth raising if you are planning to travel to Japan: how do the Japanese feel about low-cut tops? Japanese women’s bust measurements are rarely more than a B cup on average. And although they almost systematically enhance their bust size with padded bras, they very seldom wear low-cut tops for the sake of looking sexy.  

Whatever the weather, Japanese women are keen to display / make a show of their legs, but it is not common to glimpse even the upper part of a cleavage. Being generally rather poorly provided in that department, they do not wish to emphasize it. It should be mentioned however that in Japan, low-cut tops will automatically be understood as a strong sexual hint, therefore porn starlets as well as the strong-headed women of anime movies will be rather buxom ladies. 

In the Western world, we tend not to give much thought to this kind of issue and as soon as the sun comes out, women will freely display their cleavage. Yet if you visit Japan in the summer, you will soon realize that the weather is very hot and humid at that time of year and it will probably seem not only natural but also more comfortable to you to wear low-cut tops. Be careful however, as this may become a matter of survival!

If you sport a low-cut top in Japan, be it as little provocative as possible, the odds are that the looks of men and women alike will come clinging to it. You may not be stared down, and there may even be a measure of envy in people’s gaze, but you will certainly feel that this part of your body is being scrutinized, however discreetly, in a way it would not be in any Western country.

This is a question that Mariko Shinoda from AKB48 has not asked herself, as appears in the photos below. Japanese marketing specialists got the hang behind the idea of “Hide this breast”, and therefore recently released their “munamoto line cover”, in other words “bust cover” (胸元  munamoto meaning bust). Here is what it looks like:


It comes in several colors, costs ¥1,050 (~US$ 10.20), and is meant to allow you to dispense with キャミソール “camisole”, in other words, the tank top that will keep you too hot underneath a shirt with a low neck opening or a low-cut tee-shirt. But fashion, just like everything else, keeps coming and going and who can say whether in a few years from now Japanese women will not be keen to display their cleavage!

Photo gallery

  • mariko shinoda
  • shinoda mariko
  • low cut top japan
Posted on
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.
Kanpai also suggests these posts