Smiling: The perfect coping mechanism, an act of misleading.

Today, I’ll take a look on the act of smiling focusing on Soujiro Seta of Ruroni Kenshin.

Soujiro Seta is what you can call as the sunny individual because he always smiles, no matter what the situation. Normal people may regard him as the cheerful type of person and may attract the ladies with his nice smile while more perceptive people may be unsettled by his smile because he is quite an unreadable individual behind the smile.

But why does he have this almost omnipresent smile? Why do we all smile?

The act of smiling connects us to people. A simple smile can incite a total stranger to smile back to you and sometimes a conversation can begin from there. A smile can lower the social “wall” between two people. A smile can let others know that we are happy, as Soujiro always demonstrates. A smile can also incite goodness within people, as what young Soujiro did to Shishio when they first met, thus making Shishio spare young Soujiro’s life.

A smile can be more than just a simple social act that lowers the defenses of people. It can be the perfect coping mechanism, as Soujiro demonstrated. As a young kid, Soujiro was badly beaten up by his foster parents and his only coping mechanism was to smile. Truly, smiling can lift our spirits during dark times. A study. shows that smiling, no matter what they are feeling, can result into positive feelings. Soujiro’s constant smiling even when beaten by his parents may have given him positive feelings and lifted up his spirits and has made him into a natural smiling charmer, earning the support of female fans during the popularity of Ruroni Kenshin.

Soujiro’s smile also serves to mislead his foes. As one character remarks of Soujiro, he does not emit any emotion whatsoever and hides behind his smile, making detection of his true emotions difficult. His smile coupled with his seeming emotionlessness, he incites no fear on his enemies. He appears to be very ordinary and with his smile, his misleading nature keeps his enemies wary. Only those in the Juppon Gatana know how lethal can he be, after all, Soujiro is Shishio’s right hand man.

The bishounen behind the smile: The only samurai to have ever slashed Kenshin in the back.

The moral lesson of this post? Smile! Even in the worst of times, smiling can make things brighter for us! Smiling can even earn us an unexpected friend! Smiling can be a good facial exercise too, you know.

For other much more devious ways on how to use the act of smiling, please read MangaTherapy’s post.

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