Pretoria – Students in a Tokyo art school are on a mission of repairing their smiles and are paying 7 700 yen (R1 023,08) to attend smiling classes in an effort to learn a facial expression that was hidden by masks during the pandemic.
Despite the fact that the Japanese government might have lifted its proposal to wear marks in March, many individuals have still not let them go entirely.
Meanwhile, Keiko Kawano, who teaches smiling through her company Egaoiku which means Smile Education, said she has seen a tremendous increase in her business since the ban has been officially lifted.
More people including business people, are lining up for her services to get the perfect grin.
Speaking to Reuters, Himawari Yoshida, 20, was taking the class as part of her school's courses to prepare them for the job market.
“I hadn't used my facial muscles much during Covid so it’s good exercise,” she said.
The New York Post reported that Kawano’s lessons include the “Hollywood Style Smiling Technique”, which teaches how to achieve crescent eyes and round cheeks, plus learning to shape the edges of the mouth to show eight upper teeth.
“Culturally, a smile signifies that I’m not holding a gun and I’m not a threat to you.
“With a surge in inbound tourists, Japanese people need to communicate with foreigners with more than just their eyes, she added.
“I think there's a growing need for people to smile,'’ the Daily Mail Online quoted her as saying.
According to a poll conducted by the public broadcaster, NHK WORLD-JAPAN, in May, 55% of the population was still wearing their masks
It was said only 8% had completely stopped wearing masks.