Japanese Manners (part 1)

Going to Japan for the first time? There are a lot of manners and commonsensical behaviors that people do here and just take for granted that everyone knows. But the fact is that if you’re visiting Japan for the first time, you probably don’t know most (or maybe any) of the local customs. If I had a 1 yen coin for every time I saw a foreigner doing something “wrong,” I’d have a fuckload of 1 yen coins. They get in the way, mess up everyone’s routine, or just do things that will annoy everyone around them. None of these things is the end of the … Continue reading Japanese Manners (part 1)

To Bow or Not to Bow, the Gaijin Dilemma

I’m a bower. I don’t think I did it before I came to Japan, but within a few hours of being here, it all clicked.  It suits me.  While my form might not be as good as those who grew up with bowing all around them, I think I’ve got a pretty good feel for the TPO of the act in most of its forms by now. Bowing is integral to Japanese society.  There are casual bows among friends, casual bows among people you don’t know, casual business bows, formal business bows, formal bows, very formal bows, and bows that … Continue reading To Bow or Not to Bow, the Gaijin Dilemma