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He doesnft understand 2009/3/12 20:33
There is a japanese man i met. He sent me gifts twice and he asked me several times whether i have used them. The gifts are traditional japanese items, for everyday use. I treasure his gifts a lot and im afraid not to make them dirty or ruin them in any way since his gesture and gifts are special for me.
However, he seems to get offended by this. He told me i should use them. I told him how much i treasure his gifts but it seems that he fails to understand. I wonder whether i have commited a cultural faux-pas or not, since im clueless...
Any advices, suggestions and answers are welcome.
by tsubaki (guest)  

... 2009/3/13 09:45
My advice... why not use them? That's what he wants you to do, and it seems like that would more or less solve the issues surrounding them. Are they something that cannot be replaced once they are used?
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/3/13 10:28
Once the gift is given to you, it is up to you to decide how and whether to use it. BUT as Sira said, I wonder why you don't want to use it just to make him happy and show appreciation. What did he give you, I wonder......
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

a similar thread might help 2009/3/13 11:29
Sounds just like this "Will Not Wear Engagement Ring" question, only that it's the other way around. Sort of.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/3/13 22:55
Thank you for your advice Sira. I showed him that i have received his gifts and he seemed happy.
The gifts he sent me are the following:
1. Yellow kimono bag
2. Cute handmade purse
3. Bento
4. Chopsticks that match with the bento
5. Cloth towels with traditional japanese elements
6. Cloth wrapper with traditional japanese elements
7. Rice paper
8. Origami
9. Bracelet
10. Green bell in bamboo cage
11. Red kimono bag
12. A small cradle with a tiny man and a tiny woman dressed in traditional japanese clothes
13. A little cloth towel (looks like hankerchief) with chrysanthemum flowers on it (the flower which symbolizes the Imperial Family)
Although most of the items are for everyday use, im afraid not to lose them or damage them in anyway...There is indeed no way for me to replace them with new ones since i come from a different country and these things are obviously specific to the japanese culture and therefore not available in my place.
by tsubaki (guest) rate this post as useful

Things made to be used 2009/3/14 09:22
Well, for things like the towel, the chopsticks and bento box and bag, those are not decorative items, they are intended to be used. I would also be a bit put out if I gave someone something practical like that and they didn't use them- I would think I had wasted my time and money and that my gift was totally unappreciated.

Bento boxes and chopsticks etc. are commonly available here and not really a "valuable" item in any way- I can fully understand why he is baffled that you won't use them. He may well give you a new set after a year or so!

Since it seems like he gave you a lot of things, keep the ones that are obviously decorative aside, and use the ones that are obviously practical. I would also be sad to think that a bracelet I had given someone wasn't being worn, as again, it becomes useless if it isn't used for its intended purpose.

The giver wants you to use these things and I think you will get more pleasure out of using them than putting them on a shelf somewhere, so again, why not use them?
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

For example, origami 2009/3/14 14:06
I agree with Sira's last post. Also, by "origami" do you mean the unfolded paper? If so, they are meant to be "consumed." In other words, you are supposed to use them and gradually they are supposed to be gone.

What you can do is to fold them in half and use them as simple plates when serving dry food like cookies. You can also write a simple note on the white side of the paper and use them as cards to send to your boyfriend. The more you use them, the less fear there will be of loosing them, because they will be gone anyway!

I'm just curious. What kind of items would you use then? I think your boyfriend wants you to use something that he gives and remember him as you use them. I don't think it has to be the items he already gave you, but he wants you to use something that came from him, whatever it is. Why not request an item you can really use?
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

thank you for your replies 2009/3/14 23:16
To Sira:
Yes, i do realize that the chopsticks and bento are not decorative items, neither are the purse and bracelet.
Bento boxes and chopsticks etc. are not available at all in the place i live in. Although not a "valuable" item in Japan, since its an item for everyday use and obviously available there.
Im pleased that he gave me gifts. He also offered to send me more, but i feel uneasy since i dont want to come off as greedy!

Uco-san, I appreciate your advice! My japanese boyfriend told me the same thing about the rice paper and the cookies :)
Yes, by "origami" i mean the unfolded paper.
I find it very sweet that he made the gesture and thoughtfulness to send me gifts, on the other hand, i dont want to come off as a greedy person :(
by tsubaki (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/3/14 23:41
You do not sound like a greedy person at all. I am sure your boyfried finds great joy by giving you presents. Probably he is even waiting for the next chance to send you something. Perhaps you could put it this way; you baked him cookies, you would like him to eat them and tell you how good they taste, rather than keeping them safely in the freezer.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

(-Q-) 2009/3/15 00:43
well u need not use them so often if you dont want it to bet dirty or anything.
i sometimes feel the way you do. not a greedy feeling but i feel shy because i receive many gifts from a friend. i use them to show that i apprecite what they have given me and that it means that what they sent me is really something that i can use.which serves the purpose of that thing. but the more i receive the more i get shy since i feel like i am accepting too much. but since its a gift its better to accept it anyway than saying no or telling that you dont need it or anything.
...its a present! which i think japanese are fond of doing..
by nameless (guest) rate this post as useful

2009/3/15 04:52
What does sendng gifts with the chrysanthemum crest on them mean? I wonder if it has a special meaning or message for the japanese.
by tsubaki (guest) rate this post as useful

Just decoration 2009/3/15 08:46
It's just a decoration, one that is commonly used for traditional items. Men in particular are unlikely to think so deeply about any symbolism like that or even be aware of it in my experience!

It does have associations with right-wing nationalism in certain circumstances but I doubt that is the intention here!
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

chrysanthemum crest 2009/3/15 18:17
The chrysanthemum crest is the crest for the Imperial Family. Actually, I do think it's unlikely that a local would give something with the crest without much meaning. I have one at home. It is a chopstick cover with the crest, and it was given to all the guest who came to an Imperial award winning party of a writer.

Carrying your own chopsticks is appreciated today, since it will avoid you to use the disposable chopsticks that may kill forests. So I always carry a pair in the cover. What did he give you this time?
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/3/16 02:51
Thank you for your reply Uco!
He gave me a little towel that looks like a handkerchief with chrysanthemum crests on it. I wonder if im special for him at all after sending me all these gifts. Could his intentions be serious towards me?
by tsubaki (guest) rate this post as useful

towel 2009/3/16 14:44
I see. So you were talking about the towel you mentioned on your post dated March 13th.

It's not a family crest of any kind, then. Because if it's a family crest, there should be only one in the middle of the towel, instead of many being scattered. By the way, this is the crest of the Imperial Family. Any alternative design do not belong to the Family.

I wonder if im special for him at all after sending me all these gifts. Could his intentions be serious towards me?

Well, unless it was a special occasion or a souvenior upon traveling far, it's not every day that people send so many gifts. So clearly, he doesn't hate you. But you can't measure a person's heart from gifts.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

thanks 2009/3/16 19:21
I see. The towel that he sent me has the Imperial Seal of Japan on it:
But its not just one in the middle, it has several of them on it.
by tsubaki (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/3/16 21:06
Hmm...very amusing towel...
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

i understand you very well 2009/3/19 01:36
HI. I understand you very well, I mean when a friend gives sth to you, you just want to keep it as a reminder of your friend. But the best thing is to use it , then sth can happen to the gifts and then you can regret not using it.
by azeri senem rate this post as useful

thank you for your replies! 2009/3/22 04:34
I wonder if he has the intention to marry me or is it just friendship? Could he be trying to hint something by sending me gifts?
In my opinion, if he isn't seriously interested in me, he wouldn't have been wasting his money on me, but who knows...
I'm interested in this man and i appreciate his will to send me gifts, but i don't know what to think!
I know very little about the Japanese culture...
by tsubaki (guest) rate this post as useful

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