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A basic overview of Japanese Etiquette Amanda Burden (Yamanashi 2003-2006)

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Presentation on theme: "A basic overview of Japanese Etiquette Amanda Burden (Yamanashi 2003-2006)"— Presentation transcript:

1 A basic overview of Japanese Etiquette Amanda Burden (Yamanashi )

2 Language Do you need to speak Japanese? – Yes: to establish rapport to show initiative to become part of the team to demonstrate interest in the country to earn the respect of your peers for studying such a difficult language

3 Language ctn’d Not necessarily… – It’s all about HOW you say it – Actions speak louder than words! Basic useful phrases – Sumimasen – Domo arigatou gozaimasu – Dozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu

4 Overview Consider your role – Are you a guest? – Are you a “foreigner”? Consider the environment – Formal / business / casual

5 Situations Meeting people Guest Dining Maintaining relationships

6 Meeting people Supervisor Kocho / Kyoto sensei Other teachers People in the community

7 Greeting! Hajimemashite – To shake or bow? Either is fine: YOU initiate ~ desu. – Say your name slowly – If you have a business card, get it ready O sewa ni natte orimasu – This means “Thank you for taking care of me!” – ONLY to people who are helping you Dozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu – This means: “I I hope to start a good relationship”

8 Business cards Your supervisor – Get a meishi case Your kocho / kyoto sensei – If you receive it at a table, leave it face up in front of you and after the meeting, store it Other teachers – Probably won’t give you business cards People in the community – Treat them like kocho / kyoto sensei

9 Omiyage To your supervisor – Tsumaranai mono desu ga… To kocho / kyoto sensei To other teachers To people in the community – Neighbors – New friends

10 PRACTICE! Amanda sensei, supervisor Amanda sensei, kocho / kyoto sensei Amanda sensei, home economics teacher Amanda san, elderly neighbor downstairs

11 As a guest Be on time!!! When entering a home… – O jama shimasu – I’m invading your space – Take off your shoes in the genkan (foyer) – If you’re offered slippers, remove them and leave them outside if entering a tatami room If you brought omiyage (which you did!), present it to the host / hostess – Spirits in the States, flowers in France, junk food in Japan (sweets, dessert or snacks!) Giri / Ki o tsukau – Japanese hosts will go OUT OF THEIR WAY to be gracious, so don’t push it with special requests. Ex: What would you like to drink? – Japanese people will ask what your friend / host is drinking and have the same so as not to inconvenience them – Don’t worry about that, but don’t make special requests to come off as a high maintenance guest – The onus is on THEM to offer, and YOU to refuse… For dietary restrictions… – Let the host know as far in advance – If there are food items you can’t eat, express deep regret and use the “STOP” gesture Spending the night – You’ll be offered the bath – scrub yourself down and do you washing with soap outside of the bathtub using the pail OR shower – Don’t drain the water, because it’ll be reused. If you’re squeamish, you can skip the bath part. Consider the circumstances under which you were invited…*

12 As a guest ctn’d Sitting – Under kotatsu If your legs are too long, beware kicking someone Cross legged is best – Not under kotatsu It’s rude to cross legs for ladies Seiza alternatives: legs to the side (ladies), cross legged (men) – Position Least important person sits near the door – NOT you

13 Dining Chopsticks – Don’t play with them, use them to gesture, spear anything, etc. Family-style food – If you go to a restaurant, expect to share* – Don’t “help yourself” – the host will serve you – Don’t hover your chopsticks over a dish Pouring drinks – Pour drink for your neighbor – If at an enkai, wait for the toast to imbibe! – If you need more of a beverage, offer your neighbor some and they’ll do the same Rice – Rice is the staple of the meal; all items prepared are meant as complements – It’s slightly sticky to enable you to grab large clumps, so don’t mix it up or add soy sauce – You may pick up the chawan (bowl) to eat it Itadakimasu – Wait after the host is seated to eat – If you want more of something, you can comment on how delicious it was if you’re shy to reach for more!

14 Dining ctn’d Table Manners – Eating Noodles Slurping is fine, but it’s not sucking, it’s inhaling Not necessary for spaghetti, though some do it – The aftermath You don’t have to clean your plate Not always necessary to stack plates that are finished Keep your area clean Paying… – If you’re invited by senpai, they *may* treat you Refuse until they seem offended Thank them profusely! Gochisou samadeshita A little thank you note with a “one-point English” joke or something is a thoughtful gesture – Going Dutch is a bit different The designated host usually divvies up the check Men usually pay more than women Vegetarians / non-drinkers, beware… – If you need the waiter / waitress Sumimasen Onegaishimasu

15 PRACTICE! At a new friend’s home At a restaurant At an enkai

16 Miscellaneous tips: Don’ts Be late or cancel – If you are late, it’s important to apologize; the greater the inconvenience, the more ways you should demonstrate your regret – If you *must* cancel, deeply apologize and suggest an alternative date or solution – You will not receive invitations again if you continue to dottu kyanseru Attend to personal grooming in public – Blow your nose in private – Mints are better than chewing gum – you can bring a toothbrush around if you need – Do your makeup in the bathroom Some Western body language – Yawning is BAD, period (kara genki) – Fidgeting / shaking legs comes off as childish Be a rude communicator… – Don’t ask why! – Communication in Japan is like bowling, not tennis – Complaining or commenting about how something is weird in Japan may be taken personally Be sarcastic

17 Miscellaneous tips: Don’ts ctn’d WARPS Automatically feel that you have to take it! – If *you* feel offended by… A personal question, just smile and say, Chotto hazukashii desu… A comment, just make a tight smile and try to move the conversation away from it A gesture (sexual harassment), you don’t have to tolerate it and can be firm in cutting off that behavior

18 Miscellaneous tips: Do’s Appearances count! – Keep your hair and clothing tidy and in good condition Get anti-mildew stuff for your closet Get a fan to blow air through your closet for drying clothing – The amount of care you put into your appearance reflects how much care you will put into the relationship – Keep your apartment clean and in good shape for your sanity and to increase your social options – Open body language – crossed arms vs. folded hands Thank people graciously! Ask questions politely – People love to share information about themselves and their culture – Who, what, when, where, how are fine… Be comfortable with silence Bring a stash of Western goodies just in case – Wrapped non-chocolate mints or hard candy lasts at least a month – Pencils, pins, postcards, blank CDs to make mixes…

19 Miscellaneous tips: Do’s ctn’d Earnestness goes a long way Actions speak louder than words SMILE

20 Resources Google “Japanese Etiquette” Big eyes and ears Books by Donald Richie (Temple University professor) Hokkaido Highway Blues: Hitchhiking Japan by Will Ferguson


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