What Is The Average Height In Japan?

by   |   Nov 06, 2023
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In a world where stereotypes often define our perceptions, one common image that has persisted for years is that of the “short” Japanese individual. However, as the sands of time continue to shift, so too do our preconceived notions. The question that arises is this: Has the average height in Japan changed over the years, and if so, have they grown taller or, perhaps, seen a decline in stature? In this post, we delve into the intriguing journey of Japan’s height statistics to unravel the truth behind this age-old stereotype. Join us as we explore the fascinating evolution of Japan’s average height on HowToGrowTaller.

The history of the Japanese’s height

Throughout history, the stature of the Japanese population has undergone a fascinating transformation. In bygone eras, Japanese individuals generally exhibited a modest height compared to the global populace. Men typically stood at an average height of merely 5 feet 2 inches (160.3 cm), while women averaged around 4 feet 9 inches (148.9 cm).

But what factors contributed to this relative shortness?

As we delve into the complex interplay of genetics, nutrition, and environment in determining height, we find that genetics is a pivotal determinant. One gene, in particular, called HMGA2, has been identified as a significant contributor to height variation. Interestingly, this gene is more prevalent in East Asia than in Europe or Africa [1].

However, genetics alone does not provide the complete picture. Nutrition and environmental factors also play pivotal roles. It is worth noting that East Asians, including the Japanese, have faced challenges in achieving optimal nutrition and living conditions in the past, which can affect overall height.

Furthermore, historical events, such as the impact of wars, have left their mark on the physical and psychological well-being of the Japanese population. These adversities have had lasting effects on their stature, contributing to the perception of Japanese people as “short” for a substantial part of their history.

Yet, a remarkable shift occurred between the years 1950 and 2000. Japanese individuals experienced a noticeable increase in height, gaining approximately 4 inches (about 10 cm) during this period. This growth represents not only a physical evolution but also reflects broader changes in the Japanese society, including improved living conditions, healthcare, and nutrition.

In summary, the history of Japanese height is a multifaceted tale influenced by genetic factors like HMGA2, as well as environmental and societal changes. The evolution from modest stature to increased height over the decades signifies not only physical growth but also the resilience and adaptability of the Japanese people.


For a long time, Japanese people were referred to as “short”

So, what is the average height in Japan?

The average height Japan for men

The average height for men in Japan is 5’7.4” (171.2 cm), according to Japan’s National Health and Nutrition Survey. Another study also pointed out that the increase in Japan average height is up to 6 inches in the last century.

The average height Japan for women

The average height for women in Japan is 5’2.6” (158.8 cm). As compared to the data above, the average height has been elevated to more than 4 inches.

In comparison with the average height in the U.S., which is 5’9” for men and 5’4.6” for women, the difference is not significant. But in fact, the average height of Japanese people has changed considerably in an approximately short time. Do you think the rise in vertical look in Japan is a great mystery? Why has it changed so much over the years? Keep scrolling to find out now!

What do Japanese people do to get taller?

Consume more dairy and nutritious foods

Increasing the consumption of dairy products and nutrient-rich foods has been a pivotal aspect of the Japanese government’s health initiatives, epitomized by the renowned “Milk Plan” introduced in the post-World War II era. A significant shift occurred during the 1950s and 1960s when milk was incorporated into school meals, requiring students to consume a daily serving alongside other dairy items such as cheese and yogurt. This commitment to dairy consumption remains ingrained in Japanese dietary habits to this day, although their intake is comparatively lower than that of Europeans and Americans.

Furthermore, Japan initiated a concerted effort to promote the inclusion of beef and pork in ordinary diets to enhance protein intake, a critical element for fostering bone and muscle development. Intriguingly, fish remains a steadfast presence on Japanese dining tables, as experts in Japan have attested to its brain-boosting properties, which contribute to height improvement.

A ubiquitous component of Japanese cuisine is natto, a dish often paired with rice due to its compatibility and affordability. Significantly, natto stands out as a nutritional powerhouse, known for its contributions to bone health and immune system fortification.

While some Japanese households have adopted a more Westernized menu, with many still preparing rice as a staple, it now complements a diverse array of dishes encompassing meat, vegetables, scrambled eggs, cereal, and toast, reminiscent of American dining traditions.


To increase height, consume more dairy products and nutritious foods.

Incorporate Dietary Supplements for Health Improvement

Approximately 45% of the Japanese population has indicated their use of dietary supplements, with an additional 15% of parents of preschool children administering these supplements to their kids, primarily with the intention of enhancing their well-being.

The supplement and vitamin industry in Japan, while relatively young in its inception, has rapidly gained popularity. It boasts several reputable brands like DHC, FANCL, Asahi Dear-Natura, among others, known for providing high-quality vitamins and supplements to support overall health.

Harness Genetic Enhancement

Following World War II, a significant influx of U.S. troops settled in Japan, a period when Japan faced severe food and clothing shortages. Consequently, many Japanese women relied on the support of the U.S. military, resulting in the birth of what were referred to as “hybrid children.” Over subsequent decades, this genetic influence contributed to an increase in the average height of certain segments of the Japanese population.

Prioritize Physical Activity

Regular physical exercise also plays a pivotal role in stimulating growth. As widely recognized, exercise enhances blood circulation throughout the body, facilitating the secretion of growth hormones crucial for height development.

In a manner akin to the “Milk Plan,” Japan introduced the Radio Taisou program, often referred to as radio exercise, which has gained popularity since 1982. This program involves a series of up to 10 light exercises within a 3-minute routine, making it easily accessible to both young children and the elderly. Additionally, Japanese children actively participate in various sports from a young age, often through school clubs or local community programs


Exercise also plays a crucial role in enhancing growth

Improving the Quality of Life

The rapid process of westernization has ushered in significant transformations in the traditional Asian lifestyle, particularly in Japan. Over the years, the Japanese way of life has evolved in several notable ways, departing from age-old customs and embracing modern influences.

One of the most visible changes is the shift from sitting on rice-straw mats, a practice deeply ingrained in Japanese culture for centuries, to the adoption of Western-style chairs both at home and in workplaces. This shift has relieved the persistent strain on the knees of Japanese children, ultimately contributing to their potential for taller stature as adults.

Furthermore, a fundamental alteration in dietary habits is readily apparent, especially during the lunch hour. Many individuals have transitioned from the traditional practice of enjoying rice balls wrapped in seaweed to forming long queues outside fast-food establishments like McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s now a common sight to see groups of vibrant red motorbikes emblazoned with names such as Trump’s Pizza, Domino’s, or Tacos, side by side with familiar delivery personnel transporting traditional noodle or rice dishes.

These transformations signify not only the evolving lifestyle of the Japanese people but also the amalgamation of traditional values with the convenience and choices offered by contemporary Western culture

In conclusion

Gone are the days when the Japanese were referred to as the “little Japanese.” Once counted among the nations with the shortest average height in the world, Japan embarked on a series of initiatives aimed at altering this perception, and their efforts have yielded significant success. What sets them apart is their collective determination, often referred to as the “Japanese spirit,” which fuels their ability to execute nationwide changes with unwavering dedication.

This transformation serves as a testament to Japan’s capacity to redefine not only their physical stature but also their cultural identity on a grand scale.


Do shorter people in Japan face discrimination?

While not prevalent, there have been instances of height-based discrimination in Japan.

Are there any health advantages to being shorter in Japan?

Some studies suggest that shorter individuals may have a lower risk of certain health issues in Japan.

What role does genetics play in Japanese height?

Genetics play a significant role in determining the average height of the Japanese population.

Are there any government policies related to height in Japan?

There are no specific government policies related to height, but height requirements can exist in some professions.


Joy Bauer is a renowned physician and nutrition expert who has dedicated her career to helping people live healthier, happier lives. With over two decades of experience in the field of health and wellness, Dr. Bauer has become one of the most trusted voices in the industry.
About This Researcher
One of Dr. Bauer’s areas of expertise is in the field of height growth. She has worked with countless patients over the years who were looking to increase their height naturally, and has developed a range of effective strategies and techniques to help them achieve their goals.

Dr. Bauer believes that a healthy diet and lifestyle are essential for optimal growth and development. She works closely with her patients to develop personalized nutrition plans that are tailored to their unique needs and goals. These plans include a variety of nutrient-dense foods and supplements that are designed to support healthy bone growth and development.

In addition to her work in height growth, Dr. Bauer is also a leading expert in the areas of weight loss, disease prevention, and overall wellness. She is a regular contributor to a number of popular media outlets, including The Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show, and Good Morning America.

If you’re looking for a physician who is passionate about helping you live your best life, look no further than Dr. Joy Bauer. With her expertise, compassion, and commitment to excellence, she is the ideal partner for anyone who is looking to achieve their health and wellness goals.

The reason behind the creation of the website HowToGrowTaller is to provide effective guidance and support to individuals who are looking to increase their height naturally. Dr. Joy Bauer recognized that many people feel self-conscious or insecure about their height, and that there is a great deal of misinformation out there about how to grow taller.

With HowToGrowTaller, Dr. Bauer wanted to create a comprehensive resource that would provide individuals with the tools, knowledge, and support they need to achieve their height goals. The website includes a wide range of resources, including nutrition plans, exercise routines, and other proven strategies that are designed to support healthy growth and development.

One of the key benefits of HowToGrowTaller is that it is a one-stop-shop for all things related to height growth. Instead of spending countless hours researching different strategies and techniques, individuals can turn to the website to access everything they need in one convenient location.

Overall, the goal of HowToGrowTaller is to help individuals feel more confident and empowered in their bodies. By providing them with the resources and support they need to grow taller naturally, Dr. Bauer hopes to help people achieve their height goals and improve their overall quality of life.

Researcher Locations:

33 Whitehall Street, New York
Email: howtogrowtaller.com@gmail.com

Education & Training
Pediatric Psychology – Nemours Childrens Clinic – Jacksonville, 2003

Child Psychology – University of Florida, 2002

Board Certifications
American Board of Professional Psychology

Areas of Research


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