Japanese thoughts

Body language and etiquette in the Japanese context


Here are some simple tips to create  a positive impression on Japanese colleagues or clients or even friends..

  • Accept and offer visiting cards with both hands. Read the visiting card that you have received before putting it inside your purse. Never shove it inside your purse without reading.
  • Souvenirs for team mates after a vacation and a token gift such as cookies for neighbors after moving into a new apartment will make you seem like a warm person.
  • While a bit of hand movement is okay, too much of animated hand movement can seem bossy or juvenile depending on your age.
  • While Indians lightly place their fingers on the chest while referring to themselves Japanese usually put their index finger on the tip of their nose to indicate “me” “myself” .
  • Hands crossed in front of the body to make an “x” means “not okay” and making a circle with index finger and thumb with the other three fingers opened out is “okay”.
  • Bring hands together like the Indian “namaste” and make a slight bow while saying “gomen nasai”(sorry) – your apology stands a better chance of being accepted:-)

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