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Scowling and Japanese Culture

Saw "Departures" last night, a film about a man who accidentally gets a job as a mortician. It's a great film (I see it won the Oscar for the best foreign language film in 2008). Anyway, thinking about it today I was reflecting on how scowls and frowns seem to be so highly developed in Japanese culture. The heroine of the Murakami I'm currently reading, "1Q84" has a very expansive scowl; many of those Ukiyo-e style drawings show characters with theatrical scowls; as do Japanese masks; and some of the Japanese people I have known have had wonderful comic frowns too. I'm sure there is some deeper significance that people more familiar with Japanese culture can point to.
frowning Ukiyo-e character