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Big list with opinions 2008/5/14 19:56
Theres a book in scribd.com called
"sketches of japanese customs"
It's not all that detailed with some things but does help in other ways though I have not read all of it yet either.

A few other things though, I thought it was custom to always offer tea to guests, and especially rude to invite someone to your home and then not offer tea...

Heres a few I think I know about, but things change...

Chop sticks are for eating, should be matched, are not for poking/.stabbing food, stored facing left, not opened out of pack before ready to eat, should never face the throat but eat from the side of the chop sticks, should be replaced in paper if provided after eating and Use back of chop sticks to remove food from main plate to add to your own plate, oh, also not used to pass food from one person to another.

Slurping is good. farting, burping, sneezing and yawning should be concealed, by excussing yourself if possible, by fan in old days or your sleeve now a days. Or by pressing the point on the forehead.

Dip things into soy sauce bowl not, sauce onto food. I know some foods like rice are not menat to be dipped into sauce too as it should already be perfect. Wasabi should be mixed into bowl in small doses to not insult the judgement of the chef.

Sake is sipped not downed, though this I am sure is company based more than true ettiquette. Sake should be poured by the host, for all but himself, his/hers respected second should pour the hosts drink. Never pour sake over the back of the hand, and use two hands to hold sake bowl and cup during pouring and drinking especially informal situations.

Never leave any food on the plate, and no picking out certain foods and leaving others, (IMO it's probably polite to say you have medical reasons for not wanting a paticular food with your meal)

I have also heard that all food plates should be positioned exactly back where they were at the end of a meal showing respect to the original and designed layout.

Gifts should always be returned, and gifts are given often be they small or not for favours. (Personally I believe in using furoshiki for gifts and economic uses, I collect my groceries with furoshiki bags) gifts should be edible in most situations, Not sure why this is though, Any one?
Gifts should always be given to close family and friends on the return of a trip.

The bowing with hands covered could be percieved as a planned personal attack on the other person, showing hands is open and displays no ill intent. but keep fingers together and elbows in.

Always bow lower than the other person.

Business cards should be throughly studied before storing away, I am not sure if it matters where the storage is, but really throughly study all details of the card first. Check all deatils if needs be. To ask when you know is polite to ask when you do not is the rule. Carry many of your own, never be short of one for a table of associates.

Boasting any skill or talent is seriously frowned upon, modesty is the way here.

Sex is something done between lovers in the confines of a personal space. Anything in public from holding hands to kissing or hugging is not common but making an introduction as far as I know.
Love hotels are fairly norm for sexual activities as the walls are not paper thing here. Same sex couples only as far as I know, and definatly not for more than two people.

I know about the number four thing in general, but if meeting four people in a restaurant or something and ordering a table for four, do you say three plus one or do you say four? to avoid any possible confussion?

Sitting should be, if crossing legs as westerners do right leg in front, in males seiza right leg up left leg down, but generally both legs down for formal kneeling. Head of the house stays closest to shrine, lowest ranked person stays nearest the door, Not sure how the ranking system here works though. beginning eating, head person says first we recieve but everyone must likewise for ending a meal.

Personally I believe all books should be held in the greatest of respects. I would not buy a book that has been written in with pen, pencil notes are more acceptable for study guides.

As for a few comments made by people, Growing up in the UK, I still consider myself to be young and I will most certainly not give respect to my elders without them showing some self respect first. Perhaps it's our generation that has changed them perhaps not but Not all elders are worthy of respect, and if they had any honour some of them should start walking until they meet a place to rest forever without further burdening anyone.

I know some of you perhaps will understand my statement, some won't and those who wont can flame me all you want, But do so to my face so I can show you the sort of people I mean.

I try to live very much as a bushi, and show compassion to all, But compassion is not respect and should not be mistaken as such.
by 8thsinner rate this post as useful

outdated 2008/5/15 22:56
I've read through this long list of taboos and some of them seem to only appy to certain areas or are outdated. (I've been living in Japan for a while, so I've noticed a lot of these things in person) Just a few I noticed...a very long time ago eye contact was rude. Now it is the opposite and of course perfectly acceptable to look someone in the eyes. It's weird not to.
Also...soy sauce on rice. My Japanese boyfriend and friends have done this. No big deal. It depends on the meal, but don't think that it's always the "shocking no-no!" that so many Westerners like to bring up.
Also, I wouldn't count on personal experiences so much. I read that someone's girlfriend wouldn't let them touch even magazines on her table. I've been to various houses- if the person is a close friend or boyfriend, then touching such simples things was no problem for me. Some things really depend on the person.
Walking and eating/drinking. Happens all the time in Tokyo. Yes, it's a bit rude on a crowded street- you might spill something on someone. But when there are not many people, I do this myself. No one cares. People blow their nose at the table as well. With friends, things like this are no big deal.
by malakuma rate this post as useful

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