Japanese Culture

Information on Japanese culture, manners, food, martial arts, and more

There are many aspects and customs that are unique to Japanese culture. Traditionally, Japanese culture has many strict rules of etiquette for every situation from interactions between neighbors to how to eat from a bowl depending on its contents and the size of the bowl.

Below we have made some guides that should help you blend in. Some topics covered are business etiquette, praying manners at shrines and temples, and Japanese funeral manners. We also have guides with information for learning, watching, and experiencing Japanese culture and art.

Polite and Useful Japanese Business Phrases

Working in a Japanese company requires not only knowledge of Japanese business culture but also the use of a polite form of Japanese that is not commonly used in daily life. Though some phrases and words do carry over into everyday normal conversation, some words have a strictly business feel about…

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Business Japanese - Telephone Phrases

When a foreigner works in a Japanese company, to answer incoming phone calls may be a basic office work. As telephone communication is made only by exchange of our voices, it is very important for you to learn “the set expressions of Japanese” to avoid discomfort or misunderstanding of the other pa…

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Japanese Office Documents

If you have ever worked in a Japanese company, you may have had the experience of being overwhelmed by any in-house documents that you have had to submit on different occasions. These documents include claiming expenses, notifying the office when you are going directly home after meeting with a cli…

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A Beginner's Guide to Japanese Business Etiquette

Traditionally, Japanese culture has very strict rules of etiquette appropriate for every situation, from interactions between neighbors, customers and staff in a store, politicians, and every other social situation under the sun. Nowhere are these rules and customs more keenly felt by expatriates th…

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Eating Outside in Tokyo: Know the Rules, Avoid a Food Fight

Tokyo is one of the cleanest, most well-kept cities in the world. Despite its staggering population of 15 million, the city consistently tops charts of safest and best places to live on Earth, making it a wonderful place to raise a family, start a business, or invest in property. With that, however…

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Restaurant Etiquette in Japan: How to Avoid Serious Faux Pas

From grilled chicken skewers consumed standing in a smoky bar to the finest haute cuisine served course by course by a server clad in a traditional kimono, Japan offers an extensive range of food and dining experiences to fit any budget. However, Japanese restaurant etiquette can vary greatly from…

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The Latest Modern Japanese Bathrooms

As you may have guessed from Japan's Hot Spring culture, Japanese people love taking baths. Japanese bathrooms are structured not only for taking a shower but also for soaking in a bath. In contrast to some western cultures where people shower in the morning as a way to wake up and start the day, m…

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Reiwa, the changing of an era and its affect on the expat community.

In Japan, with the changing of the emperor comes the changing of the era and its name. With the recent abdication of the throne by the current and 125th emperor, Emperor Akihito, the time is almost upon us when the changing of an era will take place. Starting on May 1st of 2019 Japan’s era name wil…

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Gifts for Japanese Businesspeople: Etiquette Tips for Expats

For Western expats living in Japan, the frequency and occasions for giving and receiving gifts may be surprising. Not only are gifts given between loved ones and friends as is the case in most cultures around the world, but they are routinely given within Japanese businesses and between corporate pa…

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All About Japanese Hanko/Inkan

If you are a foreigner who is planning to live in Japan for a while, you will probably have to set up a bank account and apply for a phone and public utilities. When you sign an application form, you may notice that the space to sign is really small. The reason for this is that when a person "signs"…

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