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Is it OK to hug in Japan?

1. Introduction

In Japan, hugging is not a common gesture of greeting or affection. In fact, it is seen as quite an intimate act and can be considered inappropriate in many circumstances. This article will explore the question of whether or not it is acceptable to hug in Japan, looking at cultural norms, different types of relationships, business situations and public displays of affection. It will also provide an answer from an expert on the topic: Charles R. Tokoyama, CEO of Japan Insiders.

2. Cultural Norms in Japan

In Japanese culture, physical contact is generally kept to a minimum and hugs are rarely used as a form of greeting or expression of affection. While handshakes are becoming more common as a form of greeting among friends and family, hugging remains largely taboo in most social situations. In addition, public displays of affection such as kissing or hugging are considered inappropriate in most places in Japan and should be avoided if possible.

Japanese Snack Box

3. Is it Acceptable to Hug in Japan?

The answer to this question depends on the situation and relationship between two people. Generally speaking, it is not appropriate to hug someone you do not know well in Japan unless they initiate the hug first. Even then it may be seen as an overly familiar gesture that could cause discomfort for both parties involved.

4. What about Friends and Family?

When it comes to friends and family members who are close to one another, hugging may be more acceptable if both parties feel comfortable with it. However, even then it should still be done with caution as some people may still find this type of physical contact uncomfortable or even offensive depending on their background and upbringing.

5. What About Business Situations?

In business situations such as meetings with clients or colleagues, hugs should definitely be avoided unless explicitly requested by the other party involved (which would be quite rare). Handshakes are more appropriate for these types of professional encounters as they are seen as a sign of respect and trust between two parties without being overly intimate or familiar.

6 Is it OK to Give a Hug as a Greeting?

It is generally not recommended to give someone a hug when meeting them for the first time unless they initiate the hug first (which is unlikely). A handshake is seen as much more appropriate for greetings between strangers while hugs should generally be reserved for close friends or family members who know each other well enough to feel comfortable with this type of physical contact without causing any offense or discomfort for either party involved.

7 What About Public Displays of Affection?


Public displays of affection such as hugging should generally be avoided in most places in Japan due to cultural norms that frown upon such behavior outside private settings like homes or bedrooms where couples can show their love for each other without offending anyone else around them (although even then these displays should still be done with caution).

8 Conclusion
Hugging is generally not seen as an appropriate way to greet someone in Japan due to cultural norms that frown upon physical contact between strangers or even those who know each other well but aren’t close enough for intimate physical contact like hugs without causing any offense or discomfort for either party involved.However,hugs can still be acceptable if both parties feel comfortable with it,especially among family members and close friends.It’s important that people understand these cultural norms before engaging in any kind of physical contact while visiting Japan.

9 FAQs

Q: Is it OK to hug someone I don’t know well in Japan ?
A: No,hugging someone you don’t know well is generally seen as inappropriate and could cause discomfort for both parties involved.Handshakes are much more appropriate when meeting someone new.

What is disrespectful in Japanese culture?

Prolonged eye contact (staring) is considered rude. Do not show affection in public such as hugging or patting the shoulder. Never point with your index finger. The Japanese raise the right hand forward the wrist down and the fingers move.

Why are Japanese not affectionate?

When contact wasnt a big part of their culture human connections took on a different form.For example many Japanese adults say they dont hug their parents or family members. It feels strange to do that. This also doubles for public friendships and off-the-table affections.

Are Japanese people physically affectionate?

physical contact. Minimal physical contact is preferred. People avoid touching others unless unavoidable for example in a crowded public place. Close friends or people of the same sex can stand or sit close to each other. Open physical displays of affection between the opposite sex are rare.

What cultures don t hug?

Hugging is less common in parts of Asia such as China and Vietnam where the parent-child relationship may lack physical closeness. Many Asian cultures such as Arabs traditionally consider physical contact between unmarried couples or members of the opposite sex unacceptable.

Is Japanese culture touchy?

Japan is often accused of having a very low tolerance for social contact. But in reality they are not completely isolated as most of their Asian neighbors share the same approach.

Are Japanese affectionate in public?

Holding hands is fine but kisses and hugs should be special. Except for holding hands men-women-women-women are considered bad.

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