Ever Wondered Why Asian Tourists Flash the Peace Sign for Photos?

Say cheese Make a V! Love it or hate it, every Asian is guilty of a picture just like this. Girls flash the peace sign a little closer to their faces while boys tend to keep it low. Flash the V inwards around torso level to show the world you live on the wild side. Whatever your preference, there are a couple of apparent origins for all of it.

Read also: More Signs You’re an Asian Tourist

#1 A British Insult from 1415

English longbowmen at the Battle of Agincourt would flash the sign with their palm facing inwards to insult the French army, when threatened to have their arrow-holding fingers cut off.

#2 Winston Churchill Started it

During the anti-war movement of the 1960s, Winston Churchill himself would pose such to indicate ‘victory’. At the same time, Americans used the sign to signify ‘Vietnam’ and the call of peace. Soon it became universal for happiness… which really is the same as flashing a smile for the camera.

#3 Welcome to Japan!

But this is how the peace sign became notorious in Asia, and why it’s even more common among the Japanese. During the Winter Olympics at Sapporo in 1972, the crowd favourite Janet Lynn slipped and feel. She recovered quickly and flashed the peace sign, which was them emulated by her fans across the country.

#4 Who Has the Last Laugh?

The final known theory claims that ironically, the sign was used in an advertisement for Konica cameras to poke fun at the West. The actor from the commercials Jun Inoue actually thought that the V sign was popular with people in the West and would imitate them by making the peace sign for photos. Instead, it grew popular in Japan.

Pictures or your vacation never happened. 

Photo credit: Main and 1

Diandra Soliano

Our resident Wander Woman with a passion for languages, big cities and bronzer. When she's not listening to The Smiths a little too loudly at the office (after hours!), she can be found singing along to the soundtrack of Les Miserables with her two cats for an audience.

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