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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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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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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Onsen Etiquette: 6 Simple Tips on How to Bathe in Japan

Nothing compares to the relaxing properties and cultural experience of visiting a hot spring (Onsen) in Japan. To truly embrace the local lifestyle a trip to an onsen is a highly recommended experience beloved by visitors and new foreign residents alike. There are many types of onsen such as indoor…

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Japan Business Card Etiquette – Everything an Expat Should Know

The ritual of exchanging meishi, which is Japanese for ‘business card,’ is a much higher valued practice in Japan than in the West. This guide will serve to help foreigners who are new to doing business in Japan avoid costly mistakes. Business card etiquette is one of if not the most important area…

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Dinner with a Geisha: A One-of-a-Kind Tokyo Experience

The geisha is an iconic symbol from Japan that’s widely recognized around the world, yet little understood. A tradition that goes back over 250 years, the geisha arts are gradually disappearing, but there are still places in Japan where one can enjoy an authentic geisha experience. Today, most geish…

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