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Transcript of Japan: Culture
make certain never to write anyone's name in red ink (even your own) and so carry a black or blue pen.
Social Interactions You may be asked by your host to meet socialy This may be a sincere invitation to dinner The inviter should pay for the meals of those invited. It is said that that inviter should get a free dinner the next time they visit your country. Japanese are unlikely to invite you into their home Also, it is common to extend an evening's entertainment by going out to a coffee shop (or a second round of drinking) after the meal. Japanese are liable to ask you questions that make you uncomfortable They are not trying to be offensive Some questions considered 'rude' in America are not necessarily impolite in Japan You don't have to answer, but at least be gracious about it. Japanese LOVE to drink alcohol If you don't.... ....that's a strike against you If drinking is out of the question Make up an excuse And be ready to explain it in different ways and times Your hosts may push you to drink You should becareful not to get angry If alcohol is served, DO NOT drink from the bottle
You should pour the beverage into a cup or glass provided and then drink. Tipping is not customary in Japan Giving gifts In Japan, gifts are given on many occasions Oseibo and Ochugen The custom in which one gives a present to others twice a year is in Japan. Gifts are givien during June and December
They are usually given to show thanks Temiyage and Omiyage Gifts maybe food, alcohol, household items, or something similar For example: A set of cakes and bread A set of soy sause and cooking oil A set of steaks A seat of wheat thin noodles In order to thank somebody, one often presents a gift (temiyage) Similarly, when a Japanese person returns from a trip, he or she bring home souvenirs (omiyage) to friends, co-workers and relatives Birthdays and Christmas Gift giving on birthdays and Christmas is not originally a Japanese tradition However Due to the strong influence from the West, some families and friends exchange gifts also on these occasions In a business setting Gifts are always appreciated. Consider bringing a small souvenir that represents your hometown to give to your host. Don't be surprised if your hosts give you something from their country too. If the gift is wrapped, don't open it until you leave. If the gift is not wrapped, make sure to express your appreciation (whether you like it or not). Ask some questions about the gift to show interest. Things to know Gifts are given and received with both hands There are a few rules about what not to give Certian gifts... ...in certian circumstances... ...or a certian amount... ...is believed to cause bad luck Conversation There are several conversation topics from which one could engage in Generally, people tend to stay away from war history and politics When it comes to family, it depends on the person you're having the conversation with Some people could talk for hours Others will want to stay away from the topic It means you aren't taking the meeting seriously Japanese love to talk about sports Mainly baseball, soccer, or sumo wrestling As stated before, Japanese LOVE to drink So stuff about drinking will be a good topic Arts and theater is also and option You may compliment a person as much as you like They will usually respond that they don't deserve the compliment. You should do the same as well If you recive a compliment, thank the person but suggest that you don't deservie as well It's a modest response of not showing off Holidays January 1st New Years Celebrating the New year. Businesses are genrally closed from the 1st to the 3rd The Japanese have many holidays, here are some examples: Second Monday of January Coming of Age (seijin no hi) Celebrates the men and women who are turning 20 years old Febuary 11th National Foundation Day On this day the first Japanese Emperor was crowned Febuary 14th Valentines Day On this day, women give chcolate to men March 14th White Day The oppisate of Valentines day. On this day men give cake or chocolate to women Emperor's Birthday Celebrates the current Emperor's birthday Again, these are just a few holidays in Japan. Important Info Normal business hours are from 9am to 5pm Lunchtime is around 12 to 1 However, most people don't follow this. Making appoints through email or phone is a really common Morning meetings are from 10am or later Afternoon meetings are from 1pm or later Do try to make it on time Consider factors such as traffic or the layout of the city. It is not hard to get lost in a Japanese city Suggesting the length of the meeting is a good idea Don't expect it to end on time When making a deal, remember these tips (they will help you greatly) Know what you're talking about Build a relationship with your host This will smooth the dealing process and will help with future deals Be respectful, be professional, be polite Have patience A deal may take several trips Keep an eye on detail The Japanese are very analytical Communicate If there will be an problems, seek a translator before hand.
This will help make a deal as smooth as possible. Any questions? Thanks for watching