A question that is asked by many people, but only a few know the correct answer. Some common answers – which are also completely wrong- are: because they laugh often which makes them close their eyes a lot; they eat a lot of rice; their eyes are very sensitive to the sun, so they close them.
Thanks to this characteristic, Japanese people can see images that we cannot see. Like the next one:
There a two ways to see this text:
- Stand away from the screen.
- Squint our eyes like an Asian person.
Of course the truth is that what I wrote before is completely wrong. They see the picture just like other ethnicities and they don’t have the eyes in that shape because of the rice.
Asian people don’t have smaller eyes in comparison to other nationalities; they generally have the same size. They don’t see less and aren’t more sensitive to the sun.
The reason why Asian people have slanted eyes is caused by the fact that they come from a place where the weather reaches the most extreme weather conditions due to the wind and cold.
The consequence of these conditions was that over time, their eyes adjusted to this. Think about a really windy day. Normally you tend to close your eyes a little bit to protect yourself from the weather.
You’d do the same to protect yourself from bright sunlight reflecting on snow. It is not only very annoying, but it’s also harmful to the eyes, and it seems that the morphology of the Asian eye helps to protect them in a very efficient way.
Ok, in Japan there are areas where the weather isn’t that extreme, but they still maintain this particular feature, though perhaps not as pronounced as other places in Asia.
Around 50% of Asian people have the eyes with this morphology.
Difference between the Asian and Caucasian eye shape
Last but not least, I’ll explain that the eyeballs itself are exactly alike – here we make the comparison with Caucasian nationalities. The biggest difference is that the Japanese eyelid covers the innermost part of the eye. This is because they do not have the upper eyelid crease, as you can see in the photos.