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February 17, 2004

The Moustache Makes the Man

A couple of recent comments on what peoples get mistaken for what other peoples reminded me of this story that I saw on FARK.com not too long ago:

Japanese army opts for new form of camouflage

Male Japanese soldiers heading for Iraq on a historic mission over the next couple of months are being advised to grow moustaches so as to fit in with the local people, said a spokesperson at their base in Asahikawa on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

The 10 or so women members of the 600-strong contingent are being issued with dark green scarves to cover their hair in accordance with local custom.

Drinking alcohol and eating pork will be forbidden within the Japanese army base, which is to be constructed outside the southern town of Samawa....

But favourable Iraqi reaction to the mustachioed Colonel Masahisa Sato, the leader of an advance party dispatched to the southern Iraqi town of Samawa last month, seems to have proved the advantages of facial hair.

"What a magnificent moustache. He looks just like an Iraqi," a Japanese newspaper quoted one local resident as saying.

I suppose that it is less funny when people are trying to blow you up.

Posted by Thrasymachus at 03:17 PM