There's a whole host of websites that would have you believe that young Japanese businessmen are using nail art as a way to stand apart from their colleagues. We suspect this story is an artfully constructed Internet farce.
The article claims that in order to separate themselves from the millions (literally) of other men with similar jobs and similar suits, up-and-comers in the Japanese corporate world are decorating their thumbs and forefingers with everything from brilliant shades of pink to their company's logo.
Some men even claim that the glint from their shiny tips caught the eyes of executives in the company cafeteria and led to raises and promotions. Booking a manicure has apparently become so competitive that some men turn to underground nail technicians to keep their digits looking flashy. "Rule number one—and two—about business nail," said one young exec interviewed for the story, "you do not talk about business nail!"
If that gem of a quote wasn't questionable enough, it's important to note that this news didn't "break" in a reputable Japanese publication like Vogue Hommes Japan or even the Asahi Shimbun, but on Rocket News 24, the kind of site that publishes cat selfies and instructions on how to make your own Pokémon-shaped pancakes, which, you know, doesn't inspire the most confidence. Also, this story was first published on April Fools' Day. So even though there is a historical precedent for Japanese men to paint their nails (certain Samurai did it to identify the clan they fought for), there's no way having Hello Kitty-shaped rhinestones affixed to their index fingers is helping modern men in the world's most formal culture climb the corporate ladder. We feel pretty confident about calling this one a hoax.
—Details associate online style editor Justin Fenner.
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