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Is it polite to burp in Japan?


In this article, we will discuss the cultural norms surrounding burping in Japan. Burping is a natural bodily function that can occur after eating or drinking, but is it considered polite in Japan? We will explore the reasons behind this cultural belief, how it is viewed by Japanese society, and what visitors to Japan should keep in mind.

The Origins of Japanese Table Manners

Japanese table manners are deeply rooted in their cultural history. The practice of using chopsticks to eat, for example, dates back centuries. Similarly, the idea of not making loud noises while eating or drinking has been a part of Japanese etiquette for generations.

Japanese Snack Box

The Significance of Quiet Eating

One reason why burping is considered impolite in Japan is because it disrupts the quiet atmosphere that is traditionally associated with mealtime. This emphasis on peacefulness is meant to promote mindfulness and appreciation for the food being consumed.

Cultural Differences in Burping

While burping is generally frowned upon in Japan, it is not necessarily considered rude in other cultures. In fact, some cultures even view burping as a compliment to the chef or as a way of expressing satisfaction with the meal.

The Role of Social Hierarchy

Another factor that influences Japanese attitudes towards burping is their emphasis on social hierarchy. In Japan, respect for elders and those in positions of authority is highly valued. Burping in front of someone who holds a higher rank than you could be seen as disrespectful.

How to Avoid Offending Others

If you are visiting Japan, it’s important to be mindful of local customs and etiquette. To avoid offending others, try to eat quietly and avoid making loud noises like burping. If you do happen to burp accidentally, be sure to apologize and express your embarrassment.

Exceptions to the Rule

While burping is generally considered impolite, there are some instances where it may be acceptable. For example, in izakayas (Japanese-style pubs), burping is often seen as a sign of enjoyment and camaraderie among friends.

The Role of Gender

Gender also plays a role in Japanese attitudes towards burping. Historically, women were expected to be demure and quiet while eating, while men were allowed to be more expressive. However, this gender divide is becoming less pronounced in modern Japanese society.

Other Table Manners to Keep in Mind

In addition to avoiding burping, there are other table manners that visitors to Japan should be aware of. For example, it is customary to say “itadakimasu” before beginning a meal and “gochisousama deshita” after finishing. It is also considered polite to use chopsticks correctly and to not waste food.

The Importance of Respect

At the heart of Japanese etiquette is the concept of respect. Whether it’s showing respect for the food being served, for your fellow diners, or for cultural traditions, demonstrating respect is key to navigating Japanese social situations with ease.


In conclusion, while burping is generally considered impolite in Japan, there are exceptions to the rule and cultural differences to keep in mind. Visitors to Japan should be mindful of local customs and show respect for those around them. By doing so, they can enjoy their meals in peace and truly appreciate the rich cultural heritage of Japan.

What country is it polite to burp?

In Egypt, burping loudly after a meal is seen as a positive sign of good manners and appreciation for the food you have just eaten, unlike in Western culture where it is considered impolite. In fact, burping is often viewed as the ultimate form of flattery a guest can give the host for the food they have prepared.

What does burping mean in Japan?

The cultural norms surrounding burping can vary greatly. In some societies, such as some parts of Asia, burping during a meal is seen as a compliment to the host, indicating satisfaction with the food. However, in Western cultures like North America and Europe, burping during a meal is generally considered bad manners. In Japan, it’s considered impolite to burp during a meal.

Is burping polite in China?

In China, burping is not impolite but rather a way of expressing gratitude to the cook and satisfaction with the meal. It is seen as a compliment, so it is common to hear burps at the dining table.

Is it polite to slurp in Japan?

While loud slurping may be seen as impolite in the United States, it is actually considered good manners in Japan to slurp your noodles. Additionally, using chopsticks to eat the noodles is customary, and bringing the small bowl closer to your face is acceptable instead of bending down towards the plate.

What country is it disrespectful not to burp?

In China, burping is viewed as a normal bodily function and can actually be seen as a compliment to the chef after a meal. It is likely that China started the widespread belief that burping is a compliment in other countries.

What culture is burping OK?

In Chinese and Taiwanese culture, burping at the dinner table is seen as a compliment to the food being served. The noise is considered a form of flattery by the host, according to Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick, the founder and president of the Etiquette School of New York.

It’s important to note that while burping may be more acceptable in certain social situations, such as izakayas, it is still important to be aware of the people around you. If you are with a group of friends who are all burping and being loud, it may be okay to join in. However, if you are in the presence of strangers or people you don’t know well, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid burping altogether.

Another aspect of Japanese table manners that visitors should be aware of is the importance of sharing dishes. Unlike in some Western cultures where everyone orders their own individual meal, it is common in Japan to order several dishes to share among the group. This promotes a sense of community and togetherness during the meal.

It’s also important to note that Japanese table manners can vary depending on the region or even the specific restaurant. For example, some traditional Japanese restaurants may require guests to remove their shoes before entering the dining area. It’s always a good idea to do some research beforehand or ask someone who is familiar with the restaurant’s customs.

Overall, showing respect for Japanese table manners and customs is an important aspect of experiencing Japanese culture. By being mindful of your actions and following local etiquette, you can have a more enjoyable and meaningful dining experience in Japan.

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