Hi, how’s everything?
This time I wrote about 3 things you should avoid when meeting a Japanese person for the first time. If you don’t know these 3 things, making a Japanese friend could be difficult, so it’s important that you know them!
1.Physical contact (kissing or hugging)
We don’t usually have physical contact with friends or family. Japanese don’t have the custom of kissing on your cheek or hugging as a greeting and keep some distance to respect other people’s personal space (this maybe why the coronavirus does not spread much in Japan despite the large population). Because of globalization, we do have some people who doesn’t mind such physical contact nowadays, but it’s better to avoid doing that at first and get to know each other little by little.
2.Call someone without 〜さん (-san)
It is rude to call someone without -san if the person is the one you meet for the first time. -san is an honorific title that can be used for both male and female. We call each other using nicknames or without -san once we get closer but until then it’s better to use this when you call the person to show respect. (More about Japanese honorifics, check the link here: https://hidanotaka.com/japanese-honorifics/ )
3.Ask some opinions
In many Western countries, it is pretty normal to talk about things like politics and lifestyles, etc and ask some opinions to someone, but if you do that to a Japanese you meet for the first time, there will be an awkward moment. People in Japan generally don’t give opinions clearly by saying what is Good or Bad. Instead, we often consider the situation and the relationship with the person talking with and give some vague opinions. This is to respect different values and also to avoid conflict. Until you get to know each other well, it’s better not to ask some opinions or he/she will only get confused what to say.
People become friends gradually and it takes a while to be trusted as a friend in Japan. But as long as you respect others and keep on communicating, you will be able to build good relationships!
Thank you for reading and enjoy making Japanese friends!
Oh, and you can always be friends with me.
If there’s anything you want to know about Japan, just send me a message to [email protected]
See you next time,