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What Gifts to Bring/Give in Japan 2008/6/26 13:29
I'll be studying abroad in Yamanashi-ken, as a college student. Because I'm on a scholarship through th prefectural government, I'm supposed to meet the governor. What would be a good gift? I was thinking perhaps liquor, but wasn't sure how acceptable that would be. I'm planning to bring along little tokens- keychains, postcards- to give to people, along with some more expensive gifts like chocolates, locally made soaps, etc. But for the governor, I have no clue. Suggestions?
by Zandra  

Just for your information 2008/6/27 16:41
Public servants aren't allowed to accept expensive gifts from civilians.
by Uco rate this post as useful

gifts 2008/6/29 00:51
I may be out of line but I don't think that a student should give a gift of any size/value, and especially a small one, to any person, like a governor, that is older and in a higher position of authority. That meeting is a formal courtesy call and likely several other persons, both other students and other officials, will be there. Again, I may be wrong but I base my observations on meetings I had in my country with this type of civil servants. Another thing--this was discussed on a similar post about small gifts--small gifts like pens, key chains etc.are strictly for children. Adults would be either bemused or even offended by such gifts. As was said in that other post, people who help a foreigner do it because they have received help when in a foreign place (including a town in their own country that they didn't know) and definitely do not expect anything in return. Just this week I overheard 1 person in a shopping mall saying to his companion: this is a nice mall but it is not the...mall! so I approached them, confirmed that they wanted to go to that other mall and had no clues on how to go there. So I gave them the directions. They were happy to get help, I was happy to give help.
by Auntie Bert rate this post as useful

Gift suggestion 2008/6/29 03:09
I would bring something for the just in case moment. Nice pens are now fashionable gifts for men. A nice fountain pen seems appropriate.
by Jr. rate this post as useful

gifts 2008/6/29 05:03
Yes BUT! truly nice pens go from expensive to very expensive.Not to mention that younger people in Japan (to 30) spend more time texting on their phone than writing. I am an older caucasian and can't remember when I last wrote a letter by hand! I only e-mail now. I prefer to wait until I know a person taste before buying a gift as, myself, hate to get gifts I have no use for and have refused expensive gifts because they were not appropriate. At work we even ask,as an official policy, staff leaving for another job or retiring to tell us what they really like.
by Auntie Bert rate this post as useful

chocolate 2008/6/29 06:55
My Japanese wife thinks that some expensive chocolates would be appropriate.
by Tay rate this post as useful

The art of gift giving 2008/6/29 23:27
Gift giving in Japan seems to carry less personal meanings than what most non-asians think of gifts. Gifts often even end up being given as gifts to others. It's more of a custom that needs to be done than expressing affection. Some people hate it and others are into the gift exchange.
by Jr. rate this post as useful

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