Any traveler who has ventured into Japan may have noticed a strange trend among strange trends in the country. The young and old of the Japanese consistently wear surgical masks in public. Wearing masks is a sign that one is preventing the spread of his or her disease or protecting one's self from diseases in the premises -- but why does Japan have a huge concentration of people wearing surgical masks?

According to Rocket News 24, the Japanese lean towards these medical garments for a number of reasons. One reason is they are genuinely sick. Another reason is they wish not to be bothered; people wearing surgical masks in Japan are often left to themselves as people near them wish not to be infected by the same disease.

According to Tofugu, aside from spreading allergies and preventing sicknesses, medical masks for the Japanese are fashionable. The Bosozoku Bike Gang uses the surgical masks as a fashionable uniform among their ranks.

Most Japanese medical supply manufacturers are tapping the market of bulk-buying these surgical masks in Japan. To ante up the market, some would introduce cute designs on the mask's print. Some medical supply manufacturers even feature supplementary items such as a plastic cat or dog nose to hold the mask in place. The tight competition in this market makes the mask become a fashionable trend in Japan.

Tofugu said that it is possible there are more Japanese who wear masks during the Hay Fever season for obvious reasons. However, Japan's wearing of masks as part of everyday fashion is not to say the country is suffering from a pandemic, but it is likely the surgical mask had subliminally crept its way into mainstream culture. On another note, Japan's ninjas had their own masks resembling surgical masks -- a farfetched but sensible explanation.