Face Reading in Japan
Goes High Tech!
THE ancient Asian art of face reading has gone high tech in Japan. Several years ago, Japanese scientists began applying high-speed photographic technology to the art, adding a new dimension to understanding human feelings and communication in a development that could eventually change most human interactions.
The Keihanna Technology Innovation Center (KTIC), a research hub for Kyoto-based electronics manufacturer Omron, led the development with its O’kao (Honorable Face) face-sensing technology project.
The KTIC began with over one million photos of the faces of some 9,000 people that revealed different facial expressions. These expressions were then related to meanings and moods, taking the art of face reading to a level that’s never been dreamed of before.
KTIC researchers said the new technology can be applied in many ways, from linking people with devices and machines to revealing a person’s innermost thoughts that may be contrary to what they are saying. This goes beyond a sophisticated lie detector to virtually reading minds.
Japanese researchers at the Meiji University School of Science and Technology (MUSST) have taken this innovation in a different direction by linking facial movements to operating electronic devices, giving the impression of virtual thought control.
MUSST’s project began with a robotic face called Kansei, or sensibilities, which had a database of half a million words with facial expressions related to meanings of the words.
The creator of the robotic face, Prof. Junichi Takeno, said his goal was to discover the mechanisms of consciousness. At that time his robot face had 36 expressions; probably more than the average person thinks they are capable of expressing.
Among the practical applications of the new face-reading approach are: enhanced security systems; photo booth cameras that manipulate colors and contrasts to make the subjects more attractive; mechanisms that turn electronic devices on and off; the power to manipulate household appliances that have embedded chips; and the ability to act as backups for drivers who become fatigued or whose attention is distracted. In other words, it is the ultimate in remote control.
Face reading as both an art and science was originally studied and institutionalized in China some 3,000 years ago by physicians who began relating facial features with intelligence, character, personality, sexuality and other human attributes as part of their healthcare practices.
From the healthcare industry, face reading became a skill used by the Chinese military and employers. It also was used by men seeking more amorous female partners; something that made it especially popular among ordinary people (many of the readings are sensually oriented).
From around the 14th century A.D., Japanese priests and others who visited China picked up on the face-reading theory and practice of the Chinese and introduced it into Japan.
I began studying the art in Japan in the mid-1950s, after being inspired by the face reader brought in by the military in 1939 to help determine what kind of training best suited new recruits. The face reader was living in Chiba at that time and readily agreed to be interviewed. I subsequently wrote the book “Face-Reading for Fun & Profit,” went on a lecture tour in the U.S., and appeared on the then-popular “What’s My Line” television show in New York.
This activity helped promote the use of face reading in corporate America, with some companies using face readers in their recruiting efforts as well as in decisions to promote employees to higher positions.
Everybody face reads. In fact, it is the very first thing we do when seeing or meeting someone for the first time. Throughout our lives, we continue to read the faces of people we are talking or listening to, and everyone automatically makes judgments about the character, veracity, etc., of these individuals.
But there are over one hundred precise readings based on the size, shape and quality of the facial features, and without special knowledge or training most people only recognize and react to less than half of these.
I (naturally) recommend reading my book, which has been republished under the title “Asian Face Reading – Unlock the Secrets Hidden in the Human Face,” as a good starting place. It’s available on Amazon.com. tj
The complete article can be found in Issue #275 of the Tokyo Journal. Click here to order from Amazon.