Japanese Manners  – Can you believe the top 2 examples?

Nov 11, 2022

Hi. Are you interested in Japanese manners? Based on the 3 crucial cultural points from the past article, I’ll introduce the top 2 useful situations. At the end of the article, you can check your current knowledge on the ‘Can Do List’.


You might feel ‘I could have avoided it if I knew these Japanese ways of thinking…’ So, I hope reading the cases will be helpful for you. Have you encountered one of the cases below?


By the way, you can check the 3 crucial cultural points from this link.



<Situation 1シチュエーション1>

My boss approached me when I was working at my desk. He started talking to me and I stopped doing my task and responded while sitting at my desk.


QWhat is the problem here?何が問題だと思いますか。

AYour boss is standing but you are sitting. In this case, you should stand up in order to have the same eye level and it looks lazy and rude to speak while sitting. In addition, it is better for you to greet him first if it’s the first contact with him on the day.「上司が立っていて、自分が座っている」という状況に注目すると、ここは立って目線を合わせて話をする必要があります。また、上司に対して自分から「あいさつ」をすることも大切ですし、座ったまま「おじぎ」をするのも失礼です。

 You might have thought it was better to keep the lower position as you learned positioning in status at a Japanese polite expression lesson. But this is not the case.敬語のレッスンなどで相手を上に、自分を下にと習うので、このケースのように自分が低いほうがいいと思うのかも知れません。

This is courtesy for Japanese people and you can create strong relationships by following it. Therefore, they see you are not educated. So, please stand up to respond when your boss is standing.


<Situation 2 シチュエーション2>

It is very cold in winter in Japan. I always put on a coat when I visit my client. The inside of their office is not warm enough and I keep my coat on until I arrive in the meeting room.


QWhat is the problem here? 何が問題だと思いますか。

AIn Japan, you normally take off your coat before entering a client’s office. There are two reasons. One is to keep the same outfit as your client. Inside, they do not wear a coat and neither do you.日本では取引先の建物に入る前にコートを脱ぎます。理由は2つあって、一つは相手がスーツ姿でコートを着ていないので、同じようにコートを脱いでスーツ姿で会うというのが礼儀となっています。

The second reason is the Japanese mentality of separating inside and outside. We consider the outside is not as clean as the inside and it is better to take off the top which was exposed to the virus and dust. Therefore, it is better to do so when you visit your friend’s place.


However, it is very cold outside and your client and friend often suggest you to put your coat on before leaving the building. It is also important to care about a visitor and guest like this.


Of course Japanese people understand that this kind of behaviour is not familiar to you and requires some effort. And not many people think you should know all these manners in Japan.


After all, they totally appreciate your attitude to learn manners and do it. And surely, you will make a great impression!


If you want to check your current knowledge, please check the Can Do List.

今、自分がどの程度できているかチェックしたい方はこのCan Do Listをクリックしてチェックしてみてください。

We would keep supporting your further learning for your dreams.



「輝いて」Enrich your life!

Mineko Arai

Managing Director


Mariko Yamamoto

Business Japanese Professional Teacher


Arai Academy of Japanese Studies

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