Prompted by Haruki Murakami’s novel “The Wild Sheep Chase”, a friend and me once sat down in Hiroshima’s “hondoori”, a very busy shopping street, and counted how many male and female ears were left visible to the public onlooker. [The book features a female character who only rarely reveals her ears, which happen to be stunningly beautiful and make every man fall in love with her once he sees them.]
According to our statistics, only about 10 percent of Japanese women who walk down a shopping street on a weekday afternoon reveal their ears – i.e. either have short hair or ponytails etc. -, whereas about 90 percent of the men do. That was in 1998, or so. Of course, our sample need not have been representative. But perhaps henso could provide us with an update on ear visibility in Japan?