If your mother or father ever scolded you for burping, not holding your knife and fork correctly or chewing with your mouth open when you were a kid, now might be a good time to call them into the room and tell them that however poor they thought your table manners were, things could have been much, much worse.
The act of gift giving is a special sort of science. Between all of the holidays, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and special moments in between, we get a lot of practice with presents, and yet sometimes it’s still so hard to pick out the perfect gift for any certain someone. Still, we’ve all heard horror stories about well-intentioned presents having the complete opposite effect. Now, not to increase your anxiety over gift giving, but did you know that many everyday items carry rude connotations when given as gifts, at least in certain cultures?
You’d like to think that anyone would be happy to receive something useful as a present, but then remember how it feels when your friend offers you a piece of gum. Perhaps it’s their favorite flavor and they just really want to share, but nonetheless you’re left with a nagging worry about how badly your breath must stink. These misunderstandings can happen on a much larger scale when cultural differences come into play. So, to help you all out, here’s a little guide to gift-giving manners.
Ask someone to describe the Japanese people in ten words or fewer and more often than not ‘polite’ or ‘reserved’ will appear somewhere in the mix. Japan is known the world over as a safe, pleasant place to live where people are on the whole helpful and courteous; few people visit Japan and return home with tales of rude airport staff or inattentive waitresses.
When I first came to Japan, I had the pleasure of living for five years in a pretty little town in Fukushima Prefecture, surrounded by rice fields, rivers and some of the deepest greens I have ever seen. Of course, I experienced the warmth of locals’ hospitality and kindness first-hand, but it was only in when I moved south to Tokyo in 2011 that I came to understand the real meaning of the word manā (‘manner’), and began to appreciate how much more important it is in urban living.
If you’ve ever found yourself at the counter of a sushi restaurant, nervously watching and copying other customers around you, don’t worry; you’re not alone! It turns out that even Japanese people aren’t too sure of themselves when it comes to dining with sushi.
Thankfully, Japan has etiquette guides for everything – from how to wear a suit to how to eat a hamburger – so proper tips aren’t hard to find. We’ve sourced a compilation of sushi manners that outlines some of the finer points, while also giving us an insight into the type of things that confuse Japanese sushi customers.
On the afternoon of 22 April, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates met with President Park Geun-hye of South Korea. However, his seemingly innocuous greeting that sent many Korean netizens into a fury.
If there’s one household commodity that Japan can truly be proud of, it’s their high-tech toilets, particularly the model known as a Washlet. These things are world-famous for their advanced butt-cleansing technologies and heated seats. Why, the simple press of a button has water spraying up out of the bowl like a fountain! To any long-standing member of Japanese society, the warm water jet is obviously intended to help rinse away the residue of a good dump, but what’s a foreign traveler to do when faced with one of these mythical thrones for the first time?
In hopes of preempting any future toilet travesties, we at RocketNews24 would like to introduce you to our demonstrative list of things one shouldn’t do with a Washlet. No, really. While some of these items may seem like clever ways to freshen up after taking care of business, the Washlet is not a one-stop body shop, and we urge you never to try these things at home… or anywhere else for that matter. Read More
Flipping through any travel guide about Japan you will learn that Japan is a country where tipping is non-existent. Leaving your change on the table at a restaurant may result in the waiter chasing you down to give it back.
But in Japan there actually is a system of tipping that exists but is tangled in a mysterious system of formality that no one really seems sure of. In an interview with Yahoo! Japan, Nobuko Akashi of the Japan Manners & Protocol Association attempts to unravel this system so we can all know when and where it’s appropriate to tip in Japan.
Comikets and ComiCons continue to escalate the chance of you bumping into someone dressed like a slime from Dragon Quest gets bigger and bigger. And hey, if you see someone dressed in shiny armor with a huge-ass sword or a half-naked goddess with her pet camel, you might just want to take a photo.
But hold your horses, Leibovitz: before you start snapping away at a bunch of guys dressed like dragon balls, there’s a code of conduct that you should adhere to. You wouldn’t want to tick her off at all by being all rude with your photography now would you?
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