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All Japanese Taboos!?

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Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

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All Japanese Taboos!? 2006/5/5 02:49
Ok,
Can anyone here list all of the "big taboos" in Japan???

I've searched, and can't find anything else other then the same old ones that i already know.....
Like standing my chopsticks up in rice, pointing with my chopsticks, sleeping with my head/body north....

But i've been told on those SAME sites that theres more then that, but they never list them!!!! hahahaha,

So anyone know any others???

ありがとう!!! 

(O^.^O)

*いざ*

by Izanami  

HUH? 2006/5/5 11:51
Not sleeping with your body pointed north, i've never heard that one, can you explain.

Don't know if you know this one, which I myself just found out about 30 minutes ago, but your not suppose to eat/drink while walking.

by Kyle rate this post as useful

Taboo 2006/5/5 12:31
Using non-matching chopsticks.

This is an unwritten rule but you can see Japanese people cringe from a hundred yards if you do so.

by Jupiter Rising rate this post as useful

Passing food 2006/5/6 02:50
Passing food or something else directly from chopsticks to chopsticks. It reminds people of a funeral rite
by Kappa rate this post as useful

Taboo 2006/5/6 09:01
Whistling at night seems to be one atleast in my house. I belive it's because it will attract Snakes. Also (as I have posted asking about this one before) Wearing your socks to bed also seems to have some "Bad" meaning to it even though my Wife and family members have no reasons as to why this is. I can add to Chopsticks its not really taboo but proper manners that when your finnished eating you should leave you Chopsticks pointing to the left.
by REDRUM36 rate this post as useful

more taboos 2006/5/6 09:18
"Never trim nails after dark" is one I've heard.

For children: books are for reading; they are not toys.

Japanese would cringe if they saw children act rough with their books as many American children are prone to do. I've seen children scribble with crayons in their storybooks, tear pages, throw books on floor, then stand or stomp on them with their shoes on, etc.

by nanshi rate this post as useful

Big Taboos? 2006/5/6 14:44
It's considered dirty to eat or drink on the street. Chewing gum less so.

Keep your voice down on the trains.

Don't whistle ever.

Don't talk on your cell phone in restaurants and other public places.

Don't use a handkerchief to blow your nose (use tissue) and don't blow your nose at the table (or in public if you can help it. (Carry a handkerchief and tissues at all times!)

Don't bow with a hat on. That's rude.

There are more!

by Tokyorosa rate this post as useful

chopstick into rice 2006/5/6 17:03
Don't stick your chopsticks into rice during meal.
It's that funeral thing.

DONT play with food (no matter how old you are).
I was teasing my wife with food, she almost had a heartattack. What gives...

by In rate this post as useful

One of big taboos is 2006/5/6 23:36
tearing wrapping paper of the present when you receive it.
by namajizou rate this post as useful

it's a cultural value 2006/5/7 02:55
"...teasing my wife with food, she almost had a heartattack. What gives..."

Historically, food was scarce, people didn't have enough to eat, there were famines so food is respected and not wasted.

Same feeling with books as stated earlier. Books are highly revered not to be taken lightly.

Respect for these items and some others is strongly emphasized from childhood--thus the gut-level reaction of 'heart attack' or visible cringing. Non-Japanese may not understand the depth of these beliefs.

by nanshi rate this post as useful

... 2006/5/7 09:08
Non-Japanese may not understand the depth of these beliefs.

Appreciation and care towards food, books and other items is a general phenomena among human beings. Only in recent decades this appreciation got lost among the younger generations in rich countries, including Japan, because parents fail to teach their children the value of food and other goods, because they never experienced a lack of these things.

The situation in Japan is still considerably better than in the USA, but it is quickly worsening (e.g. fast-eating games, fast food culture).

by Uji rate this post as useful

Books, etc. 2006/5/7 16:13
Japanese would cringe if they saw children act rough with their books
I was about to say that this and other "good manners" related points were big things when I grew up in Oranda, but Uji-san beat me to it :-)
by Kappa rate this post as useful

Ahh Thank you so much!!! 2006/5/7 20:34
Oh wow thanks!!!

And Kyle, sleeping with your body pointed north......uh, that one threw me off when i heard it, but on a t-shirt that had the taboo on it, it had a picture of someone laying on there back with there head looking straight up.....=P

And i agree with Uji, there USE TO BE a time that here in the States where the younger genereation were taught things like respsect your elders, take-care/respect things like books/our flag, and to not waste food. But now a days the younger generation (my generation -.-) has pretty much gone to hell in a handbasket....this really has to be the worst generation when it comes to respect and values......blegh.......AT LEAST I WAS LUCKY TO HAVE AN AWESOME MOM???!! hahaha XD

Anywaysssssss, thanks agian for all the response (i learned some new things, yay! lol)


-IzzAAAaaa XD
(Oo^.^oO)

by Iza rate this post as useful

did not intend to be disrespectful 2006/5/7 23:24
Uji and Kappa,
Well said and thank you.

I was not intending to dismiss any other culture, just to clarify the point. Many people think it is trivial and do not understand. If I have insulted anyone, I am sorry.

by nanshi rate this post as useful

... 2006/5/8 02:24
Big taboo ?

Emperor and Buraku.
They are so big taboo that most japanese can't talk about them freely.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burakumin

by hunt rate this post as useful

My experience 2006/5/8 11:34
While I was in Japan visiting my J-GF and staying with her in her little apartment, she had a fit when I touched anything. She said it was rude.
I couldn't touch the magazines on the end table, couldn't touch the books in the book shelf, couldn't help myself to drink from the refridgerator...she said this is rude in Japan. Jokingly I asked her if I need to ask permission to use her restroom.
She also nearly passed out when I put soy sauce on my rice.
by Surfbeat rate this post as useful

To answer your question 2006/5/8 23:06
For those who are confused about this, the reason it is considered 'taboo' to sleep while facing the north is because that is how dead bodies are layed down in graves. Hope this satisfied some curiousity.
by Kayla rate this post as useful

Not true! 2006/5/9 09:09
Bodies are cremated before they get buried!

However, before cremation, bodies are laid out in their homes. That is when they are laid down with the head towards the north.

At least this is my understanding.

by Uji rate this post as useful

? 2006/5/9 17:08
But weren't bodies laid down in graves that way before they started to cremate them?

Just something I have heard xD;;

by Josephine rate this post as useful

... 2006/5/9 18:30
Possible. I am not well informed. Maybe should not have said anything...
by Uji rate this post as useful

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