Many of us love summer and all the fun activities that come with it, but in countries like Japan where the weather can get muggy, summer also comes with its inconveniences. Sweating can lead to unsightly sweat patches on clothes, body odor can become more noticeable, makeup can run, etc.

According to a segment on the news variety show Mezamashi Terebi this morning, one of these inconveniences is chikubipoko 乳首凸 or chikupoko for short (literally, "protruding nipples") in men -- in other words, nipples being visible through shirts or tops.

Survey results

The show introduced the top five results of a survey conducted by Rakuten O-net of 1,605 women aged 20 to 34, which revealed the five most disliked male grooming faux-pas in summer:

  • 5. Overbearing cologne: 16.6%
  • 4. Dress shirts worn without undershirts: 19.4%
  • 3. Very tight T-shirts: 21.7%
  • 2. Shirts in colors that make sweat patches stand out: 25.5%
  • 1. Shirts that show nipples: 58.0%

The results were even more pronounced in Mezamashi Terebi's own street survey of 105 women. When asked whether or not they were bothered by men wearing shirts that show their nipples, 88% of them responded "yes", and only 12% "no." (Although this was a leading question, 88% seems high enough to suggest that the majority would have felt negatively about the issue even if it had been presented more neutrally)

The segment went on to introduce some of the reactions of women when asked about seeing men whose nipples were visible underneath their shirts or tops. Trains were the most uncomfortable situation. Some women wanted to avoid crowded trains for this reason, and another mentioned she wanted to move to the women's only carriage to avoid having to see it.

The show also interviewed men, some of whom seemed entirely unconcerned, but others who were concerned and took measures to avoid having their nipples showing. One man replied that he had tried duct tape but that it hurt when he removed it so now he uses adhesive bandages.

Good and bad chikupoko?

The reporter also asked women in the street about chikupoko, and specifically "What about macho and handsome guys?" Some of the responses introduced were: "I hate it when it's like: 'Oh look, he's so handsome. But wait, aren't his nipples showing?'" While another woman responded: "If he's macho, I don't mind."

The segment also showed a list of "3 worst chikupoko according to women" which were:

  • Overweight chikupoko
  • Nipples visible through a sweat patch
  • Nipples visible under a polo shirt

Chikupoko prevention measures

Finally, the segment introduced ways for men to avoid chikupoko such as:

  • Using specially designed nipple concealers / protectors
  • Wearing special undershirts which make nipples less visible
  • Developing your pectoral muscles

Online Reactions

On Twitter, the segment was met with mixed reactions.

Neutral or positive

OKP-STAR, bassist for Japanese pop/rock band Aqua Timez recognized the problem:

Or this FX trader who seemed to accept the information on the show:

No issue

However, the reactions were not all positive. Some women indicated they didn't see it as a problem:


Others had issues with premise of the segment and the kind of questions which were asked:

By - Ben K.