Physical Differences Between Chinese And Japanese

In this modern world, there are still a lot of cultural beliefs surrounding different groups of people, and in particular, the physical differences between Chinese and Japanese people. Both groups are of Asian descent, but there are quite a few disparities that make them unique.

Physical differences in appearance include facial features such as eye shape, nose, chin, and cheekbones, as well as body types and skin tones. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors to get a better idea of what makes Chinese and Japanese people distinct from one another.

Facial Features

One of the most noticeable differences between the two is the shape of their eyes. Chinese eyes are usually smaller and almond-shaped, whereas Japanese eyes are rounder and wider apart. This difference created a derogatory term for Japanese people in Mandarin called “Squinty-Eyed Barbarians,” which was commonly used as a racial slur in the early 20th century.

Another facial feature that distinguishes these two groups are their noses. Chinese people’s noses are typically wider and stronger, whereas Japanese noses are smaller with a rounder tip. Regional origin also plays a part in nose variations. Northern Chinese people generally have wider noses, compared to Southern Chinese who generally have narrower noses.

Japanese people also have flatter faces with high cheekbones, whereas Chinese faces are more elongated with a flatter cheek structure. The chin is another distinguishing feature that sets them apart. Chinese chins are more pointed and angular, while Japanese people usually have rounder chins.

Body Types

When it comes to body types, Chinese people are generally taller and have a more muscular build than their Japanese counterparts. Although this is not a rule set in stone, since people come in all shapes and sizes, it has been observed that most Chinese people have an average height of 5’7” to 5’8”, with a more robust bone structure compared to Japanese people’s average height of 5’4” to 5’6” with a leaner physique.

Skin Tone

Another noticeable difference when looking at Chinese and Japanese people is the color and tone of their skin. Chinese people have yellow undertones, whereas Japanese people have a more pinkish undertone. This difference plays a big role in how they tan, with Chinese people typically developing a golden-brown hue in the sun, while Japanese people maintain their fair complexion.


Despite being part of the larger umbrella term of Asian, both Chinese and Japanese people have distinguishing features that set them apart from one another. Facial features such as eye shape, nose, chin, and cheekbones differ, as well as body types and skin tones. Although these differences may be subtle, they are still significant and worth acknowledging.

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