Talk:Etiquette in Japan

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Merger with Japanese customs[edit]

Please respond on Talk:Japanese customs page, so that everyone can keep track of the discussion. --DannyWilde 05:30, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Dos and don'ts[edit]

These come from the defunct Japanese customs page. I think they were originally written by Takuya Murata. Anyway, tidy them up as you like. I don't think anyone's going to add more of them. --DannyWilde 00:29, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

"Evening of age" and "Mid-year marker"[edit]

There are two gift seasons in Japan, called oseibo (お歳暮) and chuugen (中元). One is for winter and the other is for summer. Japanese people often translate these into "Evening of Age" and "Mid-year marker" in English. The latter is directly from the Chinese calendar althought the gift-giving connotation does not exist in the Chinese culture. Gifts are given to those whom one has a relationship with especially people who have helped.

I've never heard either of these terms, "evening of age" or "mid-year marker". This might be an attempt to translate the kanji rather than a description of what they are. On the other hand "winter gift" and "summer gift" may not be common, although I personally have seen both of them. I found a few hundred hits for both on Google. Would anyone else like to comment? These edits were added by an anonymous editor. --DannyWilde 05:01, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Commoness of customs[edit]

this page is probably viewed mostly by foreigners going to Japan. can somebody comment on how common these traditions are and if they are only prominent in smaller places or bigger cities as well. thanx.


Why does this have its own page when hardly any other country has its own page for etiquette rules. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:02, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

"As in most countries, coming to work drunk and sexual harassment are frowned upon."[edit]

I can imagine that what's is considered sexual harassment in one country or one place might not be viewed as such somewhere else but can anyone give an example about going to work drunk ? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by KungFuMonkey (talkcontribs) 23:56, 16 March 2007 (UTC).

"As in most countries, coming to work drunk and sexual harassment are frowned upon."[edit]

I can imagine that what's is considered sexual harassment in one country or one place might not be viewed as such somewhere else but can anyone give an example about going to work drunk ? KungFuMonkey 23:57, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Removal of "disputed" template[edit]

This edit added a {{disputed}} to the section Special birthdays. The template says "Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page." but after well over a year there's no discussion on the talk page. So I removed the template. Fg2 (talk) 10:50, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Gifts "tumaranai mono desuga"[edit]

"The gift is often presented when shown into the living room, saying "tsumaranai mono desu ga" つまらないものですが (literally "it is only a small thing, but...") to show modesty." Actually, つまらない doesn't mean small. It literally means boring, or insignificant. So I suggest to change that. Mikaelsenp (talk) 14:49, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I changed the translation. Is it OK? Oda Mari (talk) 16:30, 5 April 2008 (UTC)


Should the number of bills be odd or even? The sentence is confusing - "the number of bills should be odd, since it will be difficult to divide the money." Was this intended to be "the number of bills should not be odd, since it will be difficult to divide the money."? --Dbutler1986 (talk) 06:05, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Odd. Odd number can not divided into two, so the couple would stay together forever, not to be divided, meaning divorce, you know. And traditionally odd numbers are preferable in any occasion in Japan. Oda Mari (talk) 16:26, 5 April 2008 (UTC)


"It is the custom in every Japanese household to take one's shoes off when entering the house. It is generally considered polite to wear shoes instead of sandals...(copy/paste)" Does anyone else see the contradiction in this statement? How can it be impolite to wear shoes, but more impolite to wear in-house sandals your hosts have offered? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:25, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

= I think what they are saying is that go wearing shoes (as then you will have socks for sure), but if you do visit them in sandals. do carry socks as socks are required whether you come in sandals or shoes(politer). You put these socks(you brought) before you slip in the slippers (given by the host)

Konban wa and Oyasuminasai[edit]

They have the meanings wrong. Konbanwa it's Good Night. They don't have a Good Evening phrase. Oyasuminasai means "Have a good Night", but it's just only when someone is leaving. Iyt can also be used on teh lines of "Sweet dreams!" or "Sleep tight!", mostly when it's contracted to Oyasumi.--The Brat Princess (talk) 06:40, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

As Japanese is a contextual language, it's not that simple. Konbanwa is definitely Good Evening. We use Konbanwa as the first greeting when we meet someone in the evening or night. Oda Mari (talk) 07:44, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Business cards[edit]

When given a business card by a Japanese businessperson, one should hold it with both hands. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:34, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Spammy links[edit]

I had a link to my sci.lang.japan FAQ page removed from this page. Because I am annoyed by this, since I do not believe the link was spam, I'd like to point out that two of the links on the page which weren't removed are actually spammy links. Both of the business card links go to companies selling business cards. --Sljfaq2 (talk) 07:21, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Note that adding the {{External links}} template to articles is also a good way to alert other editors to external links that possibly do not conform to Wikipedia guidelines. --DAJF (talk) 07:25, 6 January 2010 (UTC)


It is considered bad taste to leave your chopsticks sticking out of a bowl of rice because during the funeral rites, when one offers food to the deceased, the chopsticks are placed vertically into the bowl of rice that is offered to the deceased and left that way for the duration. It has nothing to do with incense sticks in sand. This can be easily referenced online by someone and an appropriate citation found, I'm sure, but I don't want to personally mess with the article.Volleygirl333 (talk) 02:30, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Emperor bowing[edit]

The caption on the picture of Obama bowing to the emperor says the "emperor bows to no one". But it looks like he's bowing here: [1]. Is he bowing out of respect for the dead in that picture? Would he bow in a shrine? If he bows to the dead it ought to be clarified to say he bows to no one living. Furthermore, given that I doubt Akihito is so arrogant as to believe he never makes mistakes, he must have cause to apologise from time to time. If he trod on someone's foot would he omit the customary bow? If so, would he have been in the habit of bowing before he became emperor, and then had to unlearn it? Any clarification would be appreciated. Thanks. (talk) 16:00, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Further to this request, in his speech of 16 March 2011, Akihito can be seen to bow at the start and end (while seated), as videos show. (talk) 15:36, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

He actually does bow, he's quite a gentle man, it's just he chooses his moments carefully.--Kintetsubuffalo (talk) 16:04, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Eating on trains[edit]

Some consider it rude to eat in public or on trains, but this is not a universally-held aversion. I would agree with this on commuter trains, like Yamanote etc. The Japanese don't eat on trains. But it is quite the opposite, and sometimes even custom, to have ekiben, obento, and large packed lunches, when travelling on Shinkansen, and other Limited Express trains. (Romance car, NRA, Spacia etc). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:47, 1 June 2011 (UTC)


I am from Saitama and my friend asked if she could Buy a clock for a corporate gift but was discouraged because of this wikipage. The information here is misrepresented with the citation of a book that represents Asia but more specifically China about the information of clocks. This should be removed from this wiki page. Even my mother Did not know of a prefecture that was offended by the gifting of clocks or watches. I am sure it would be inappropriate to give a Tigers Fan a swallows Jersey. So please remove this and if you are also not from Japan please do not ignore this because someone spread misinformation about a group of people who do not have same customs as the Chinese — Preceding unsigned comment added by AceTimberwolf (talkcontribs) 02:55, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Clocks/wathces are favored gift[edit]

I changed the "Impolite gifts" section and excluded clock.
  • Guess the person intended to suggest mirror, not clock. Not always, but by geographical region or the age of who accepts the gift, mirror could be regarded as a gift with bad omen as it breaks, or superstition tells a mirror would suck up your spirit.
  • Could add other impolite/inappropriate gifts; for example, an ashtray is not appreciated when you open a new shop as it inspires fire/arson, of course depends on age of the person receiving it.
Actually, as a time piece, clocks are often chosen as a goodwill gift including when your friend buys a new house. A doctor who leaves a hospital to open her/his own clinic might receive a wall clock/grandfather's clock from her/his colleagues and subordinates, with gilded inscription reading 'from staff of the hospital'.
A wrist watch is a favored gift for those commence, graduate, and even at engagement (betrothal) or silver/golden wedding in Japan (my parents gave my brother-in-law a pricy one actually). However, the idea of time piece as gift itself is rather outdated I guess. --Omotecho (talk) 01:53, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Aversion to Chopsticks[edit]

The article mentions MANY phobias and aversions to going near the end of the chopsticks. This seems strange, since Japanese will often share chopsticks with other people. Putting the part that was in the other person's mouth into theirs. Are we certain these are not some archaic traditions that no one follows today? (talk) 18:15, 27 January 2015 (UTC)