Updated: April 27, 2016
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Beautiful Black Teeth From The Olden Japan

Do you believe that Japanese women used to dye her entire teeth black? What is it used for? Read out to find more!

Ohaguro: Black Teeth, Beautiful Teeth

Back then in Japan, the custom of blackening your teeth is considered beautiful and attractive.

The darker black your teeth are, the more beautiful you are perceived by society.
Black teeth signified wealth and sexual maturity especially for women in Japanese society.

The custom of dyeing someone's teeth black is called 'Ohaguro' (お歯黒).
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Ohaguro originated in the Buddhist idea that white teeth reveal the animal nature of men and women and that the civilized person should conceal them by a coating of black dye.

A mixture known as kanemizu, which consisted of iron filings, vinegar, tea and rice wine was used to blacken the teeth.

When combined with gallnut powder or tea powder, it would turn black and become non-water-soluble.

Just like any other acetates, it smells unpleasant and unfortunately the dyeing power doesn't last forever, therefore had to be applied once a day or once every few days.
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Edo period

During this period, women usually dyed their teeth black when they were ready to find husbands. In addition to the cumbersome process of ohaguro, young women began to feel that ohaguro was old-fashioned thus ohaguro was typically only practiced by married women, unmarried women over 18 years old, prostitutes and geisha.

During the Meiji Period which followed the Edo Period, the practice of Ohaguro was banned.

Modern Japanese Woman and Ohaguro

Even though the ohaguro has its own benefit of preventing tooth decay, it is still considered as a weird practice by most modern people. Fortunately for the modern Japanese women, these traditions are not a must anymore, and it is only used in theatrical performances nowadays.

The Japanese women nowadays has another unique teeth look: the Yaeba Trend!

But just in case if you want to know how modern Japanese woman looks like with blackened teeth, you can take a look at this video!
Moreover, you don't have to worry because Japanese women nowadays loves bright white teeth too! They even have this weird teeth make up (shaped to look like a nail polish) to make your teeth appears whiter and brighter with the application of the polish!

Check 'em out here:
An International student having the adventure of her life in Tokyo, Japan.

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