Prolonged eye contact (staring) is considered rude. Don't show affection, such as hugging or shoulder slapping, in public. Never beckon with your forefinger. The Japanese extend their right arm out in front, bending the wrist down, waving fingers.
Do not address other people using their first names. In Japan, you do not address other people by using their first names like how things usually are in the Western world. That is not considered polite, especially if you are talking to a superior, someone older than you, or someone you meet for the first time.
Blowing your nose at the table, burping and audible munching are considered bad manners in Japan. On the other hand, it is considered good style to empty your dishes to the last grain of rice.
In Japan, people greet each other by bowing. A bow can ranges from a small nod of the head to a deep bend at the waist. A deeper, longer bow indicates respect and conversely a small nod with the head is casual and informal. If the greeting takes place on tatami floor, people get on their knees to bow.
6) Do not point with your chopsticks
Pointing with your chopsticks is considered very rude, much like pointing at someone with your finger in the UK.
Note: It is very rare for anyone to acknowledge a sneeze in Japan, and it is customary not to say anything at all. After multiple sneezes, they use these words. "Are you all right?" "Sorry." or "Excuse me."
Crossing your legs is considered very casual and improper even if you do your best to cross them tightly and stylishly. Instead, experience the “seiza,” an excruciating form of traditional Japanese sitting (on your knees), invented especially to torture foreigners.
The Japanese consider it rude to leave food on your plate, and even more so to order more food when you haven't finished everything you've already got. This is related to one of the fundamental concepts in Japanese culture, mottainai, which is a feeling of regret at having wasted something.
The answer to this is quite simple… not often. It is not usual in Japan to use swear words or bad language in public. Of course, you certainly shouldn't say any of the following swear words in Japanese or phrases to anyone higher up than you, as Japanese is a very respectful language and culture.
"Hai hai." = Yes, yes. / Okay, okay. In Japan, saying yes twice is often considered rude behavior. In fact, many parents tell their kids off for it.
While the Japanese are often curious and may stare at foreigners, especially Americans, this was not the reason so many people seemed annoyed with us.
The word for 'no' in Japanese is いいえ (iie) or the more familiar いや (iya). But to say or hear 'no' is generally uncomfortable for the Japanese. A negative response is often reformulated into a negative question where the verb's negative form is used.
In fact, in Japanese culture, people are taught not to maintain eye contact with others because too much eye contact is often considered disrespectful. For example, Japanese children are taught to look at others' necks because this way, the others' eyes still fall into their peripheral vision .
1. It's illegal to make clones. Having a clone of yourself might sound cool and dandy, but in Japan, it has been against the law to experiment with human cloning since 2001. If you make a clone, you will be sentenced to 10 years in prison or fined ¥10,000,000 (~USD94,633.50).
Japan. The middle finger is a brotherly gesture in Japan. When used in the context of Japanese Sign Language, it's translated as 'ani' to mean older brother. Sometimes the Japanese alternate two middle fingers in the air to mean siblings. In sign language, it's translated as 'kyoudai.
If you want to say “OK” you can give a person a thumbs-up or put your hands up above your hand, bend them in the elbows a bit to form a big “O” (called maru in Japanese). Remember, however, that thumb-down is an offensive sign in Japan.
No one really knows where this myth originated from, but the Japanese have taken it one step further. They believe that sneezing once means someone is gossiping something nice about you. Twice means something not as nice. Thrice – gossip that's really, really not nice at all.
Best not greet a Japanese person by kissing or hugging them (unless you know them extremely well). While Westerners often kiss on the cheek by way of greeting, the Japanese are far more comfortable bowing or shaking hands. In addition, public displays of affection are not good manners.
For example, one sneeze means something good has been said, two means something bad has been said, three is a sign that someone is in love with them, and four is a sign that tragedy will befall their family.
Slurping is a sign of appreciation
In Japanese culture slurping your noodles shows how MUCH you are enjoying your meal. The slurping process also cools down the noodles and enhances flavors, so don't feel uncomfortable and just slurp it!
When you are eating food with chopsticks, especially with rice, do not stick your chopsticks into your food or rice. This is seen as a curse in Chinese culture. This is taboo and said to bring bad luck because it reminds people of the incense used a funeral.
It is said that crossed chopsticks represent death itself in China. While Japan may not associate this practice with death, it is still generally considered bad manners to cross your chopsticks. Whenever possible, try to remember to keep them in a parallel position whether they are in your hands or placed down.