The Story Behind Asians’ Obsession With Making V-Signs In Photographs

V for victory. Or symbol of peace. But why?

 
The Story Behind Asians’ Obsession With Making V-Signs In Photographs
Image Credit: unsplash.com

We have all posed with our fore finger and middle finger making a V-like structure. The holding up of the “V” hand-sign while getting photos clicked has been quite a trend in Asia, East Asia specifically. We do it as a symbol of victory. We also know it as a symbol of ‘peace’. But where did this cute practice begin? Let’s find out.

An Asian family posing for love and peace
An Asian family posing for love and peace

Image Credit: aia

The most common theory comes from an American figure skater and anti-war activist named Janet Lynn. She was the hot favorite to win gold in the 1972 Japan Winter Olympics. Unfortunately, she fell while performing and that was the heart-breaking end to her participation. While everybody thought she’d be shattered, she on the other hand smiled and posed with the “V” for Victory sign or Peace sign. The Japanese people instantly fell in love with her and she was found flashing the V sign in her following media appearances as well. Lynn became a media sensation in Japan and people treated her like she was a rock star.

A Japanese woman happily posing with a “V” hand-sign
A Japanese woman happily posing with a “V” hand-sign

Image Credit: Pexels

Another theory claims it started with the popular singer Jun Inoue, who was a member of the popular band ‘The Spiders’ in Japan. Inoue also happened to be the celebrity spokesperson for Konica cameras and it is believed that in 1972 he spontaneously flashed the V-sign while shooting for a Konica commercial.

The symbol is often used as a gesture of peace and happiness
The symbol is often used as a gesture of peace and happiness

Image Credit: Pexels

The trend then soon got exported to other countries from Japan. As of today, people in Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea and even India spontaneously use the symbol ‘V’ in photographs.

Interesting story, no? In fact, in Japan the “V” symbol has been associated with taking photographs so obsessively that it is no more understood as V-for-victory sign but V for SAY CHEESE!

It’s a funny world. But I cannot say it doesn’t look cute. Say V! *Clicks*