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JAPANESE CULTURAL BRIEFING

TOPICS
GREETINGS

BUSINESS

CARDS BUSINESS ETIQUITE WHAT NOT TO DO RELIGION HOLIDAYS

GREETING and BOWING


When you first meet someone say, Hajime-mashite which means to begin a new acquaintance. Introduce yourself with your full name followed by the company name. Bowing is extremely important in Japan, but they understand that Westerners are unaccustomed to bowing and may often handshake instead. Keep your back and neck straight, feet together, eyes downward, arms straight at your sides, and bend at the waist at a 45 degree angle.

BUSINESS CARDS

When offering the business card with the translated side facing upwards towards the recipient, hold the card with both hands while bowing. Pause for a couple of seconds to admire the card before placing it inside the business card case.

WHAT TO AVOID
PLACING THE CARD IN YOUR WALLET WRITING ON THE CARD BENDING OR DAMAGING THE CARD

BUSINESS ETIQUITTE

Call 1 hour prior to a scheduled meeting to confirm that youre on your way and ARRIVE ON TIME. Wait to be seated in the meeting room since there is a custom regarding which party sits on which physical side of the table. Drinks are handed out at the start of the meeting and will be handed out in order of rank. WAIT FOR THE TOP EMPLOYEE TO DRINK HIS FIRST. Taking notes during work/business meeting is very appreciated and use only blue or black pen, NEVER RED, because it is bad luck.

WHAT NOT TO DO!


Never pat a Japanese man on the back or shoulder. Its rude to point at people with a finger or chopsticks. Never make derogatory remarks about anyone, your competitors, or your own employees. Avoid blowing your nose in public. Excuse yourself to the toilet or go outside. Sniffling to avoid blowing your nose is acceptable. Avoid using excessive hand gestures. It can take on different meanings in Japan. For example, the ok hand gesture in the U.S. means money in Japanese culture. Avoid passing food from chopsticks to chopsticks, as this is how bones are handled by the family of the deceased after a cremation. Standing chopsticks vertically in a bowl of rice is to be avoided, as it recalls burning incense sticks standing up in sand, typically at funerals. Never give gifts or anything of sets of four or nine. The numbers 4 and 9 are considered unlucky because the word for 4 (shi) has the same word as death and 9 (Ku) can mean suffering.

RELIGION
Shinto

and Buddhism are Japans two major religions. Japanese enjoy religious freedom and practice different types such as Christianity and Islam, but religion is not a major role in their every day lives.

HOLIDAYS

January 1 (Shogatsu) Many businesses close from January 1st through the 3rd. Second Monday of January it is the coming of age of 20 year old men and women. February 11 is the Kenkoku Kinenbi when the first Japanese emperor was crowned in the year 660 BC. March 3 is Hina Matsuri, girls festival. March 20 is the Spring Equinox Day where family members visit their love ones graves. April 29 (Showa ni hi) the Emperors birthday. May 3rd through 5th is Golden Week. These days celebrate Kenpo Kinenbi (Constitution was signed), Midori no hi (Green Day), and Kodomo no hi (Childrens Day). Third Monday in July (Ocean Day) is the day the Emperor Meiji returned from a boat trip from Hokkaido in 1876. September 23 (Autumn Equinox Day) Family members visit their loved ones graves. Second Monday of October (Health and Sport Day). November 3 (Culture Day) A day to promote culture, love, peace, and freedom. December 23 celebrates the Emperors birthday.

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