Japanese Oh Legs

Over on fashion.3yen.com, Chidade wrote about Tokyo Street Style, a website run by the JFA – Japanese Fashion Association—Lots of fun fashion victims and quite a large showing of what is called in Japanese “O-leg“—pigeon-toed.

And there are “O-Leg Fixers” on the market such as the O-Leg Supporter 3,800 yen. Fun!

Why Japanese women walk this way is a great mystery. In the past, the low protein and low calcium diet was to blame for “tansoku” (tansoku means short-legs in japanese)
stubby legs as well as bad genes. Constant kneeing what feet folded and tucked under their butts must not help. Current theory is that Japanese think it’s cute to walk deformed.


Supposedly, NHK TV had a “science” show in this topic came up with the wild explanation that Western women have big butts so they walk with feet pointing out to draw said backside in. Japanese girls have no butts and walk with toes pointing in to push their backsides out. Yeah, ri-i-i-ight.


UPDATE: As rightly mentioned by one of readers, “Lola19″ :
There is no way to correct the O-legs without surgery. Check the www.ladisten.com/bow-legs that tells about it.

ALSO: Here’s an interesting, scientific newspaper article all about this…

SO, WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?
O-kyaku
(walking pigeon-toed)
JapanTimes.co.jp – Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2006

Published by

Taro

I'm a pale, alien, quadruped who has worked for 25+ years at "Maybe-the-Largest Inc." in Tokyo.

101 thoughts on “Japanese Oh Legs”

  1. Bwaahahahahaha it IS cute the way they walk like that!

    Personally I think it’s the kneeling and those damn geta sandals that make them walk like that.

  2. It could possibly be that when they started walking they imitated their parents, and that “O-Leg” type of walk has just managed to survive a few generations?

  3. I think they are right about tucking your legs under your body when sitting. When I was about 3 I was pigeon toed and had to have a small operation near each big toe to help fix it. Then do exercises with my feet. My mum was told by doctors not to let me sit on the floor with my knees pointing back. So them basically sitting on their feet in this way could help with the problem :0

  4. Actually, this topic was started by my Japanese friend in grad school in the States who is has taken up marathon running only to discover that O-Legs and running don’t mix. She’s now going to a sports medicine clinic to be treated. Here in Japan, I’ve asked orthopedic surgeons for what they thought was the cause of O-Legs. Most hemmed and hawed since it’s a medical embarrassment. One surgeon admitted that when he set badly broken legs, he pointed the feet inward on women. I cannot believe that NHK’s “scientific” explanation.

  5. HELLO FRIENDS, WANTED TO KNOW AS I CAN OBTAIN THE CORRECTOR OF LEGS ARCHED PLEASE TO SEND ME ALL THE DATA TO BE ABLE TO ACQUIRE THIS PRODUCT, TO SEND ME HIS PRICE IN DOLARES.
    To MY MAIL..

  6. MIGUEL on 2/17/2006 @ 1:47 am wrote:
    CAN I OBTAIN THE CORRECTOR OF LEGS ARCHED?

    Sorry to say, nearly all Japanese websales require a Japanese credit card or Japan-only postal COD. Basically, no Japanese website will ship overseas because credit-card fraud is so common.

    You can try to ask for a special order from the only Japanese company who does ship to overseas, J-List.com.
    http://affiliates.jlist.com/click/393/71

    Sadly you will most likely be refused.

  7. HELLO FRIENDS DESIRE TO BUY THIS PRODUCT PLEASE TO SEND ME ITS PRICE IN DOLARES TO MY MAIL, SINCE MY DESIRE BUT LARGE IS TO COME TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEMADE THE LEGS OR, IF IT PODRIAN ENVIAREL PRODUCT TO THE ENBAJADA OF PERU IN FILE, ALLI I TILL THE CORRESPONDING PAYMENTS FOR ITS PURCHASE. THANKS

  8. Goes to show how different cultures can be in fucked in what is considered to be attractive.

    Personally I find that Japanese girl walk to be annoying as hell—that is, the way Japanese women walk like “pigeons” because they don’t know how to walk in heels drives me up the wall.

    But I did hear from the horse’s mouth that many of these girls do in on purpose to look “vulnerable” — I guess that is what equates as being feminine in Japan, and I guess that’s what the wimpy Japanese guys go for here in Japan.

  9. Well zo-san, I think Oh-legs are hell of a lot sexier than Western hippo limbs. I have to say “hippo” because your name “Zo” could mean  elephant (象 or ぞう) in Japanese, hee, hee.

  10. It’s odd but in America, one the ways beauty is judged is by how much light you can see between the thighs of a women—the more light, the less obese. But in Japan, the more light you can see between the thighs, the worse the women’s figure is. Go figure.

  11. Are they talking about being pigeon-toed or having bow-legs (genu-varus)? Bow-leggedness is often caused by rickets:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genu_varus
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickets

    The picture of the o-leg straightener seems like it would be for bowl-legs, not pigeon toes. It’s also useless b/c the only way to fix bow-leggedness as an adult is through surgeries such as Ilizarov method.

    Walking w/ duck feet is usually a sign of something else such as flat-feet or ilio-tibial (IT) band syndrome, both of which I have. If a person strengthens his/her body a certain way in addition to this, it’s likely that his/her butt and possibly other parts will get bigger as mine did b/c the glute and thigh muscles are making up for what your feet SHOULD be doing. It was only b/c I am a dancer and a martial artist that my butt and thighs are muscular; when I first met my physical therapist, he suspected that my legs would be very weak and joints damaged b/c of the way I walk so no, walking duck-footed doesn’t necessarily make your butt bigger.

    Personally as a dancer, I find any kind of foot/leg deformity highly unattractive b/c I know how hard it must be to balance.

  12. –>Are they talking about being pigeon-toed or having bow-legs (genu-varus)?<— Both are a problem in Japan. Low calcium in the Japanese diet in the past and severe teenage dieting in the present causes bow-legs. Being pigeon-toed is learned posture of Jspanese girls trying to be “cute.” Often thin, super-dieting girls have both problems—compounded by the fact Japanese have short legs.

  13. the reason that they walk like that it’s because it’s cute, and it makes a big gap between your legs, making your leg look really skinny, which is what all Japanese aim for the fashion right now — stick thin

  14. Yan wrote:
    …it’s cute, and it makes a big gap between your legs, making your leg look really skinny…

    Ha, ha, I guess that’s true. In the US the best way to judge a girl’s figure at the beach is if you can see any light between a girl’s legs. That’s rare even at the ankles, hee, hee. :-o

  15. Hahaha, oh!
    Well, I have ‘o-legs’ XD and my friends (especially from HK and Japan) say they’re ‘cute’. I think it’s cute, but those pics look painful O.o

  16. Gaby wrote:
    I have ‘o-legs’ XD and my friends (especially from HK and Japan) say they’re ‘cute’. I think it’s cute, but those pics look painful O.o

    Ha, ha, I can imagine what your friends from HK and Japan are saying is that pointing your toes inward –especially when posing for a photo– is cute. Generally, in Japan women will fret if their legs themselves are bowed/curved. I guess I will have to go out and taken some video of those “look painful O.o” girls in action.

    runty, deformed, bow-legged  Japanese

  17. hi how can i get more information on this product were can i buy it please email me back

  18. Can someone tell me how to get this product to canada…please i really need this…thanks!

  19. 日本人のO脚は、生活文化によるものです。
    正座や横座りなどの膝に圧迫を掛ける座り方が原因しています。
    これが最大の原因です。

  20. Translation of the Japanese by Takashi-san above:

    Japanese bowlegs is based on their life and culture. The way of sitting by kneeling places pressure on the knees, especially when trying sit as straight possible with a good posture. This is the greatest cause.

  21. This all seems silly. Bone structure/body shape is genetic. People are born this way. Now, the pigeon toed walking, that *can* be an affectation, something done by some young women. (I know a Japanese woman who calls it walking like a teenager). I hope that Takashi-san isn’t suggesting that people can’t be born with bowed legs and pigeon toes.

  22. How can I obtain this product. I hate my legs because they’re skinny and bow legged. I’d love to fix this problem with the product shown above. Any info will be greatly appreciated.

  23. I have bow legs, I’ve made a lot of research on the clinics where one could get it fixed and looks like there a few clinics that might help. so if there’s anyone who is not quite confident and brave about doing this, pls join me. w can do it together…

  24. On Sun, Mar 9, 2008 at 10:48 PM, GnzEmO wrote a comment on Japanese Oh Legs
    How much is that please send me my msn

    Hi!
    The company that makes the “O-Leg” correction device only sells and ships their product within the country of Japan.
    However, you could use a proxy ordering service such Rinkya.com http://www.rinkya.com/storesrus.php to order and ship the “O-Leg” correction device to your country. The following email explains the process.
    Sincerely yours,
    Taro 3Yen

    Hi Taro ^_^

    Thank you for your email!
    You can order from any Japan online store by filling out the form here: http://www.rinkya.com/storesrus.php
    To become a Rinkya member and place orders, they will need to sign up here:
    http://www.rinkya.com/signup.php
    We can place orders on any Japan website and ship to their location (as long as the size and weight is not huge ^_-)

    Rinkya

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    See the company’s “O脚矯正サポーター” website :
    http://www.visiore.com/o-leg/o-leg_index.html

  25. It’s simple anatomy, these gals are trained at early age to sit “one style” and to always point their toes together… the more they think they’re being cute, the more their legs bow out. Wanna fix it, just relax, and stop worry-ing about “Image”

  26. I think short legs are one of the most unattractive physical traits out there; it’s not only me but as a whole throughout most cultures short legged-ness (or short-limbness that comes with it) is perceived as unattractive (and if you google ‘short legs’ or sometime along those lines, you might find an article on a scientific study of why short-limbness/legs are perceived as unattractive from a biological perspective.

  27. Tonio said:
    how do I get this “O-leg supporter” if I am in the USA?

    It is very difficult to order Japanese products from the US. Japanese companies only accept Japanese credit cards for payment (and of course there are the language problems).

    You need to use a “proxy service” as as….

    You can order from any Japan online store by filling out the form here: http://www.rinkya.com/storesrus.php
    To become a Rinkya member and place orders, they will need to sign up here:
    http://www.rinkya.com/signup.php
    We can place orders on any Japan website and ship to their location (as long as the size and weight is not huge ^_-)

    Rinkya

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    See the company’s “O脚矯正サポーター” website :
    http://www.visiore.com/o-leg/o-leg_index.html

  28. Here’s an interesting, informative article all about this….

    SO, WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?
    O-kyaku
    (walking pigeon-toed)
    japantimes.co.jp – Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2006
    ….according to Dr. Makoto Kamegaya, head of orthopedics at Chiba Children’s Hospital. “Sitting with the legs tucked under or to the side doesn’t cause bowlegs,” he assured me, “and neither does pechanko-zuwari, although that position is linked to uchimata hoko (walking pigeon-toed with the feet turned in.)” Bowlegs can’t be blamed on how you sit, he asserted, and except for very rare cases, nutrition isn’t a factor either. So what gives?

    “What looks to foreigners like a high incidence of bowleggedness among Japanese is really just a racial tendency to lower legs that curve outward, perhaps combined with a cultural preference for a slightly pigeon-toed stance,” Kamegaya told me, explaining that it’s easier to walk when wearing kimono if you turn the toes slightly inward. “That also produces what has long been considered a graceful, attractive gait. Few women wear kimono anymore, but the preference remains.”

    All humans are born bow-legged, but in most cases the legs straighten out naturally between ages 2 and 4. “Japanese are more likely to have curved tibia than Caucasians, and a certain degree of curvature is considered normal in both children and adults,” according to Kamegaya. “But the incidence of true bowleggedness, which is called Blount’s disease, is not significantly higher in Japan, and most doctors in this country follow the same general guidelines used overseas to decide when correction is necessary. That usually means surgery to cut the leg bone and reset it.”

    But what about all those products and services I saw on the Internet that purport to correct O-kyaku? “Maybe doing exercises and wearing special insoles will make people feel better about their legs, but, medically speaking, there’s no way to change the shape of the bones in adults except surgery.”

  29. “Maybe doing exercises and wearing special insoles will make people feel better about their legs, but, medically speaking, there’s no way to change the shape of the bones in adults except surgery.”

    That makes me feel very sad!

    I had perfectly normal legs up to the age of 12; it was only recently (since two years ago) that I began having bowlegs.

    I find it very annoying when my friends say it is because of “calcium deficiency” or “the inability to absorb calcium”.

    I think it’s inherited.

  30. Asians, Koreans especially obsess too much about legs and try to compare themselves to Japanese.

    The Japanese are ethnically different than Koreans, so they will naturally have different physical attributes. You cannot expect the two to be the same or insist that the other look like your. That is like expecting an American to look like a Spanish.

    You have to respect people for what they are. You are what you are physically. Judgements made of physical attributes or perceived physica attributeds is called discrimination, and prejudice.

  31. Hello
    I would like to know where to buy this product, and if there are clinics in the U.S. to fill arquedas legs, I think than just need a simple surgery for my legs that, I have not quite arquedas. Heyy Legs I join you if you can write me at my e-mail address is: elizabeth_lavalle@hotmail.com. Thanks

  32. soy argentina, descendiente de corea, tengo un problema que es la de las piernas arqueadas y necesitaria saber donde o como puedo conseguir los productos que aqui se mencionan. gracias.

  33. Can anyone help me find the “O Leg Supporter”? I live in the USA. The only website that I could find that has this product is a Japanese site and everything is written in Japanese (which I cannot read). I would sooooooo appreciate any help. Thank you. My email address: bdeyton@hotmail.com

  34. A long description of the odd stance of Japanese women is at Tokyo360.net.

    Are Japanese Women Intentionally Pigeon-Toed?
    By Asian American in Tokyo | May 30, 2007
    Ever notice how the vast majority of Japanese women walk with their toes pointed inward? The cause for this isn’t conclusive, but debate about it rages across the Internet. If you don’t believe me, use your favorite search engine and enter the terms “Japanese” “pigeon” and “toed” – see what results you get. Some say it’s due to the various Japanese ways of sitting, such as “seiza” but I personally agree with those who hypothesize that it is considered feminine to walk pigeon-toed. Note that Japanese men usually aren’t pigeon-toed. I believe it’s tied to gender-specific Japanese culture, such as women speaking in higher-pitched voices when on the phone, male/female-specific Japanese speech, crooked teeth being cute, etc. more

  35. It is necessary to try all means to fix this horror. JUST GET THE SURGERY.

  36. Elle nuovo POONTANG, grazie a dosaggio ridotto ed effetti collaterali limitati, promette efficacia costante e rapporti meno artificiali.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>