Strange Japan: Yaeba Teeth (Double Teeth)
Yaeba which translates as “double tooth” refers to the crooked snaggletooth. Overseas, yaeba teeth remind people of Dracula or demons but, in Japan, they’re considered cute by many. And rather than correcting their yaeba teeth and getting a nice, straight row, there are even girls who get the opposite done and have their teeth made into yaeba. Today we’ll be talking about yaeba teeth, a protruding fang-like tooth, that even we Japanese find slightly strange.
Why do Japanese find yaeba cute?
Probably the biggest reason is thanks to anime. The “moe” characters in anime often have impish yaeba teeth. It could be that we end up thinking of yaeba as attractive as a symbol of youth and innocence.
Also, since long ago, Japanese culture has found beauty in the thought of imperfection. An easy-to-understand example is “wabisabi”. Similarly with the teeth, it could be that slightly uneven teeth look better than perfectly straight, perfectly white ones.
Yaeba idols tend to be popular in Japan (of course, there’s many examples).
And speaking of another mouth-related topic, “Duck face” is also said to be cute. There are many people purposefully making this face and then uploading pictures to the internet.
But if you think about it…
Japanese are famous for wearing masks whenever, wherever. Masks are becoming a part of fashion now and there’s many cute or sophisticated masks coming out.
Why these two contrary cultures—of bringing attention to your mouth like yaeba teeth or duck face and of concealing your mouth—exist, even we don’t quite understand. If you have any ideas, we’d love to hear them!