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.

Hanko/Inkan: A Guide to the World of Japanese Signature Seals

This article will explain the meaning of "hanko," how to buy and use one. 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 as well as apply for a phone and public utilities. When signing an application form, you may notice that the…

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Tatami Mats: A Guide to Japan’s Most Famous Flooring

Throughout history, tatami mats have been a key part of Japanese culture, design, and even sports. The woven rush grass of tatami mats creates a comforting, relaxing space that can be enjoyed by all. In this guide we cover the origin, uses, and maintenance of tatami mats in modern Japan. What Exact…

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What you didn’t know about Japanese habits

The following article was written by Tokyo Central Japanese Language School.   Hello, my name is Yuki, a Japanese language teacher.  Japanese people always say "Sumimasen(Excuse me / I’m sorry)", don't they? When you are around Japanese people, you often hear the word "すみません(Sumimasen)". When trans…

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Gift Giving in Japan and Luxury Japanese Gifts

There are quite many occasions where Japanese people give gifts, it can be a gift giving season or a specific occasion. In this articles, you can learn about typical Japanese gift occasions and we have selected some luxury Japanese gifts. For etiquette for giving gifts in Japan, please read: Gifts…

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Sumo Wrestling in Tokyo: Taking in Japan’s Most Famous Sport

To the untrained eye, Sumo is a simple pushing and thrusting match between two overweight men in a small ring. Bouts are called when one of the fighters is forced out of the ring. As simple as it gets, right? The truth is slightly more complicated, and much more interesting. But the fact that sumo…

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Japanese Calligraphy (Shodo) classes in Tokyo

Shodo, or Japanese calligraphy, is another traditional art with much history behind it. Shodo's roots are in ancient China where kanji, one of the major forms of Japanese writing, originated.  It was introduced to Japan around 600 AD and has been practiced ever since. What is Shodo? Shodo is a form…

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What you didn’t know about Japanese habits

The following article was written by Tokyo Central Japanese Language School. Nice to meet you all! My name is Eri, and I'm a Japanese teacher at a Japanese language school in Tokyo. My students come from all over there world. From various students that I come in contact with I often hear things lik…

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Japanese Verbal & Nonverbal Communication for Business

When it comes to business, Japan has a vastly different way of communicating compared to many Western countries; and those who fail to account for that difference often find themselves lost in the discussion or even accidentally insulting those they are speaking with. To help you navigate the diffi…

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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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