Young businessmen in Japan have begun rocking a trend that is supposed to help them stand out in a sea of workers who are also donning near-identical black suits, white shirts, and boring ties. According to Japan Today, thousands of young men are now paying top dollar for nail art that includes "gemstones, pastel-pinks, hearts and even company logos." The trend is called "Business Nail," and it's kind of a big deal in a country that collectively believes in social cohesion and uniformity trumping individuality, especially in the corporate world.

Don't laugh...yet. The article reports that many of these guys have claimed that, "since getting their nails done, they have been rewarded with pay rises and promotions, and now have more friends and lovers than they could ever have dreamed." And who wouldn't want more friends and lovers?

It does sound ridiculous, but the article does have testimony from several young professionals who attest to the trend's ability to help them stand out to their peers and superiors instead of remaining another anonymous cog. And the trend is growing into a sort of underground secret society. Illicit nail salong are popping up in Tokyo's Red Light districts, an online community of "Business Nail" enthusiasts is growing, and one guy even compared the trend to Fight Club, in that you don't speak about it with outsiders.

Many guys in Japan and abroad will definitely dismiss this trend as something too feminine for their own taste, but the true origins of the "Business Nail" is slightly more badass than you would think. Apparently, ninjas in Japan used to paint one nail with their clan's mark as an identity marker. That way, a fellow clan member or intruder could be spotted easily. That's still very much the point with today's latest trend in Japan. 

[via Business of Fashion via Japan Today]