can you tell the difference between chinese, japanese and korean people just by looking at them?

it is a question that has intrigued me a lot seeing as people have always come up to me and asked whether i am chinese and japanese, for which i respond with chinese. for me, i don't think that people who ask that question are ignorant or stupid, i think its good because for most of you, you can't distinguish the difference just by appearance. i for one was born in london & i am of chinese descent. its hard isn't it by defining people this way by looks. to me i can tell that japanese people don't look like chinese by their eyes, their's are different, although koreans look far more chinese to me, until they speak korean which is where the similarity ends. what do you think about each culture? can you tell the difference? are you intrigued or fascinated in some way by them. seeing as i for one love learning and discovering other people's cultures and nationalities. i would love to read what your views are on this. by the way, no racist filth or else i will report your arses to yahoo!

22 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Here is something to consider :

    "Chinese" actually includes a lot of different races and languages (that is spoken language - we have one written language) . The major ethnic group are Han Chinese. But ofcourse there has been interbreeding. "Chinese" should be used in the same way as "European" and not in the same way as "English" or "French".

    Japanese people live on an island and have had a long history of isolationism and are quite unique. However , some of their culture is derived from China. Buddhism was brought to Japan by the Chinese and also their script. Someone once told me Japanese people are Mongoloid but I am not certain if this is true.

    I am never certain of someone's race until I hear them speak.

  • 5 years ago

    It has been an interesting subject to read about! I have studied Martial Arts my entire life and am 62 years old and have learned that the differences are more cultural than physical! Although regionally the Chinese in the Northern areas of China seem taller and their eyes are closer in appearance to the people who live in Mongolia and Tibet!

    The Southern Chinese seem shorter and their eyes are more similar to the Japanese and Taiwanese! This is very subjective so I guess that is pretty much the way the rest of the world sees it too! The Germans did a "racial" study before WWII and took facial measurements and some of that Ido is available on the internet if you google it!

  • 5 years ago

    china is so big u can't possibly tell them apart some Chinese looks like Koreans coz they're near Korea (the Dongbei provinces) Koreans usually have squarish and chubby face (before surgery of course😂😂) Japanese are usually shorter and smaller in size. Sometimes Japanese looks like Taiwanese.

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  • 5 years ago

    Not always and if someone can, it's not often. Generally, it isn't wise to try and to determine an Asian's (or any other ethnic group) race just by appearance. Factors such as name may be better for that sort of thing. Along with the matter of this question, I must input that Asians aren't the only ones with the race identifying problem. I, an African-American, have met and seen many blacks who I assumed were African-American like myself until I discovered that they were Haitian, Jamaican, or of some other ethnicity. I have also met whites who I thought were American until I discovered they were of other ethnicities such as German, Italian, and Dutch. This even occured to some Latinos in my community who have assumed to be Mexican when, in reality, they were Puerto Rican, Guatemalan, or Dominican.

  • 6 years ago

    They're the same race. You can't tell them apart. It's like how you can tell a Scot, English and French apart by just looking at them. Let's use the American melting pot as an analogy and look away at the countries. Can you tell an Anglo American, German American and Slavic American apart today? Can you tell a Korean American, Chinese American and Japanese American apart when all three are born in the USA and speak English with an American accent?? The answer is no, no.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Okay you amateurs, let me just give you some insight! The easiest way to tell Japanese is the tall noses. It's not hard to distinguish because it was such an isolated homogeneous society. Just look up Jackie Chan as opposed to say Ken Watanabe. See what I mean?

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm Malaysian Chinese but my mother and I get mistaken as Japanese on regular intervals, i.e. fortnightly. I've also been mistaken as Korean, Indonesian, Malay and Burmese. I think it's more of the manner and dressing that differ between cultures. For example even in Australia, I could usually tell who is what by their manner (though I myself had at least three or four people ask if I am of Japanese ancestry). To avoid offending anyone unnecessarily, I shall refrain from elaborating on their individual traits.

  • 6 years ago

    No, I cannot tell the difference just from looking at someone. If the eyes are slanted I consider them "Asian" which seems to cover the entire category - Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, etc. Sometimes, if I find out their name I can tell from that. But it doesn't matter all that much to me from casual associations/interactions. If they are in my realm of interaction and speak English that I can understand, they are an American version of whatever their ancestry/heritage is. Who am I to judge? The ancestors of everyone in this country who were not Native Americans came from somewhere else on the globe. And even some Native Americans came from somewhere else - back when this planet was very young and one could walk from one continent to another.

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