Manners are one of the most important things to learn when entering a new culture!

Manners are one of the most important things to learn when entering a new culture!

3. Learn about Japanese culture

Learning about the intricacies of Japanese culture is one of the most important things you should be aware of when trying to make Japanese friends. Cultural influence on friendships should not be underestimated and making the effort to learn about Japanese culture will always work in your favour!

Japanese Manners You Should Know

Simple things like please and thank you can make your life much easier and make those around you happier. Showing that you know what's expected of you can raise others perceptions of you and indicate you're a responsible, trustable person. Here are a few manner rules to get you started, besides your pleases and thank yous.

Politeness

The Japanese language is famous for placing emphasis on politeness. If you know any Japanese you'll know that there are four basic levels of politeness. When in doubt you should stick to the default desu-masu forms, but what level you should use depends on who you're talking with. Pay close attention to the language of those around you to help you figure out when to use what.

  • Extra-Polite (keigo)
  • Polite (desu-masu)
  • Casual (da-ru)
  • Slang

How to address people

Even in English it's rude to point at someone and say “you over there!” So how do you address people in Japanese? Well first of all, pointing in general is considered very rude in Japanese society so you should avoid doing that. If you need to point at something to illustrate your point, try using a flat, open hand instead to soften it.

Second, stick to last names unless you're given permission to use their first name. Family names come before personal names in Japanese but many Japanese people are aware of foreign customs and will rearrange their name for you. If you're not sure which name is their family name, listen to what other people are calling them.

Gift Giving

Omiyage (souvenirs) are a vital Japanese tradition! Continue reading "Manners are one of the most important things to learn when entering a new culture!"