Rding trains in Tokyo, where you must avoid looking at anyone, leaves little to do but look at your smartphone, sleep and risk missing your staation, or stare at the floor. In time you are bound to realize that a large percentage of Japanese women of all ages are bow-legged. I don’t know why – there seem to be as many theories as posts on the subject,

It is possible that men are the same, but it is harder to tell since they aren’t as exposed.

You will also notice men and women have short legs compared with their torso size.

I do have a theory on this.

For a couple of thousand years the majority of people in Japan were engaged in rice farming. Just look at the pictures and you can see that short legs were an advantage. A long legged person was not as able to work the rice fields and so was not an desirable candidate for marriage.

Of course the artisan and merchant classes did not have this problem, and the samurai ruling class was exempt. But the vast majority worked the fields where short legs had an advantage.

It may be that the taller Japanese have longer legs – their additional height is in their leg proportion. I haven’t seen enough samples to confirm it.