The Japanese can make art out of anything. Even the most mundane things. Watching the behavior of the Japanese is terribly interesting. And there is much to learn from them!
Flipping through the photos from my trip to Japan, I suddenly remembered something that I was very surprised at when I was in Tokyo and Kyoto.
Respectful treatment. Bows.
Bowing and nodding in Japan is a separate universe. It seems that respect for adults and for each other is hammered into Japanese children even before they go to school.
Tourists in Japan are treated, if not with understanding, then with great condescension for sure. No one will ask you to bow. But you yourself will not notice how you will start to tilt your head (as a sign of gratitude, when greeting, etc.). The depth of the head tilt corresponds to who is standing in front of you. Between friends, light head tilts are accepted, but in front of the boss, the Japanese tilt their head lower. But it all depends on the situation, and the person, and even on the terrain.
Out of respect for the interlocutor, the Japanese also add the suffix “san”. It’s kind of like you’re calling a Japanese person by their first name and patronymic.
Politely – “san”: Ivan Vasilyevich, have you changed your profession? Impolite-without “san”: Ivan, have you changed your profession?
That is, to address a Japanese person as “Mr. Yamada” is impolite, but to say “Yamada-san” is polite. With friends, you can also add ” san ” – for example, Hisashi-san.
Table etiquette. Kampai!
Japanese restaurants offer wet wipes . They wipe their hands before eating. They dried it, folded it carefully, and placed it on the edge of the table. It is not customary to wipe the face and other parts of the body with these napkins.
The Japanese love beer. When they gather in a group of more than two people, they start drinking only when the older one (by age or position) says a short toast and says ” Kampai!”, which means something like our “drink to the bottom”.
It is possible and even necessary to draw in the noodles loudly. This shows you how delicious you are. The plate can be taken in your hands and brought closer to your mouth to make it easier to eat.
Instead of “Good appetite!” before eating, the Japanese say ” I accept! “(“Itadakimasu!”).
In Japan, it is not customary to give a “tip” anywhere (neither in restaurants, nor in taxis, nor in beauty salons). By the way, I have already written about tips in different countries. Tips for the Japanese are offensive in most cases.
In Japan, all restaurants eat with chopsticks. Of course, forks and spoons are also there, but this is for especially tourist tourists , so before traveling to the Land of the Rising Sun, it is best to practice eating with chopsticks. It’s not as difficult as it sounds.
By the way, the Japanese will not look at you askance, if you start eating with European appliances – a knife and fork. Why? Yes, because the Japanese are convinced that only the Japanese know how to use chopsticks. Therefore, your “dining procedure” with forks will only confirm their confidence in their uniqueness.
If you want to observe etiquette – take off your shoes!
When entering a house, a traditional Japanese restaurant, or a hotel, the Japanese take off their shoes. Usually there is a shelf for shoes at the entrance. Sometimes they offer slippers to those who take off their shoes, and sometimes they do not offer them-sit barefoot, this is normal.
In traditional Japanese hotels ( ryokans) and traditional Japanese restaurants, you will see a pair of slippers before entering the toilet room. These are toilet slippers. You can only enter them in the toilet. To walk in the same slippers around the room or to stomp in them into the restaurant-in any case!
Masks or gauze bandages.
A lot of Japanese people wear masks. At first I thought they were afraid of catching something. Then a Japanese friend of mine shared a secret with me. It turns out that the Japanese, like most Asians, are prone to allergic diseases. Their body is weaker than the body of a European, in relation to allergies. Therefore, the masks.
In addition, in Asian countries and in Japan, including a very large percentage of lung diseases (primarily SARS). And here, too, they say, masks should help.
English and cigarettes.
As soon as you start talking to Japanese people in English, they will immediately decide that English is your native language. Because the Japanese themselves, although they speak English, but most of them are very bad 🙂 Do the Japanese smoke? Oh, yes! The Japanese are smokers. Big time smokers! Especially in Tokyo.