Upon meeting each other for the first, second or umpteenth time, men and women usually bow, although the more cosmopolitan may shake hands. Often, people will bow and shake hands simultaneously! When in doubt, always ask someone, preferably older than you, for advice about how to greet people.
Of all the rules in Japanese courtship, one of the most significant is punctuality. Meeting times are sacred and the failure to honor them is considered grounds for the end of a relationship. On the surface, contemporary courtship in Japan does not markedly differ from that of its western counterparts. However, there are subtle contrasts […]
One of the first Japanese words you will hear in reference to you is “gaijin”, literally translated as “outside person.” The term “gaijin” is not generally used to downgrade foreigners, although some visitors, who live in rural areas where people are unaccustomed to foreigners, sometimes find it very annoying to have children point fingers at […]
‘The Japanese have perfected good manners and made them indistinguishable from rudeness.’ ~ Paul Theroux One of the most disconcerting things about the Japanese is you’re never really sure what they think of you. They learn from an early age to suppress and hide their true feelings. It’s considered much more important to respond to a […]
Bowing is nothing less than an art form in Japan. The duration and inclination of the bow is proportionate to the elevation of the person you’re addressing. For example, a friend might get a lightning-fast 30-degree bow; an office superior might get a slow, extended, 70-degree bow. It’s all about position and circumstance. If you […]
“Goukon” or group blind date, is a modern pattern for dating where friends arrange for other friends to meet up to see if they like each other. Japan is much more a culture of introductions, swapping email addresses and business cards, than it is picking up dates in bars. Sex and sexuality is less frowned […]
Both Japanese men and women are heavily programmed by society as to their gender roles and this is something that is only changing slowly. If you’re looking for someone with independent spirit you’re better off looking for a girl or guy that has travelled. Japanese society is quite openly erotic in some ways with massage […]