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Is it polite to shake hands in Japan?

1. Introduction

Shaking hands is a common gesture of greeting and politeness in many cultures, including Japan. However, the rules and etiquette surrounding handshakes in Japan are different from those in many other countries. In this article, we will explore the significance of handshakes in Japan, whether it is polite to shake hands in Japan, how to shake hands properly in Japan, when not to shake hands in Japan, and other related questions.

2. Overview of Japanese Culture and Etiquette

It is important to understand the culture and etiquette of Japan before discussing handshakes. Japanese culture places a great emphasis on respect for others and politeness. This means that people are expected to act with care and consideration for those around them. It is also important to be aware of social hierarchies and always show respect for those who are higher up on the ladder than you.

Japanese Snack Box

3. The Significance of Handshakes in Japan

Handshakes are an important part of Japanese culture as they symbolize trust between two people or groups. They are seen as a sign of mutual respect, understanding, and agreement between two parties. A handshake can be used as an expression of gratitude or appreciation for someone’s work or effort. It is also seen as a way to show that there is no animosity between two people or groups who may have had a disagreement or misunderstanding previously.

4. Is it Polite to Shake Hands in Japan?

The answer to this question depends on the context and situation you find yourself in when shaking hands with someone else. Generally speaking, it is polite to shake hands with someone if you have just been introduced or if you are thanking someone for their work or effort. However, there are some situations where it may not be appropriate or polite to shake hands such as when meeting someone older than you or when greeting someone with whom you have had disagreements previously.

5 How to Shake Hands Properly in Japan

When shaking hands with someone else in Japan it is important to do so correctly so that no one feels uncomfortable or offended by your actions. When shaking hands with another person make sure that your palms remain flat against each other without any twisting motions; this shows respect for the other person’s hand position as well as your own posture while shaking hands with them. Additionally, make sure that your grip is not too firm; this could be seen as aggressive behavior which would be considered impolite by most Japanese people.

6 When Not To Shake Hands In Japan

As mentioned earlier there are some situations where it may not be appropriate or polite to shake hands such as when meeting someone older than you (especially if they are much older) or when greeting someone with whom you have had disagreements previously (as this could create an awkward atmosphere). Additionally, it may not be appropriate to shake hands if one person has recently been ill since this could spread germs more easily than usual.

7 Conclusion

In conclusion, shaking hands can be seen as an important gesture of politeness and mutual respect between two parties in Japanese culture; however there are certain situations where it may not be appropriate such as when meeting someone older than you or when greeting someone with whom you have had disagreements previously.Therefore it is important to understand the context before deciding whether or not it would be polite to shake hands with another person.

8 Q&A Section

Q: Is it polite to shake hands with strangers?
A: Generally speaking no; however if both parties agree then it can still be considered polite depending on the context.

Q: Should I bow before shaking hands?
A: Yes; bowing before shaking hands shows respect for the other person which will likely make them feel more comfortable about engaging in physical contact.

Q: What should I do if I don’t want to shake my counterpart’s hand?
A: You can politely decline by saying “I’m sorry but I would rather not” while bowing slightly.This will show your counterpart that you respect their wishes even though you don’t want physical contact at this time.

9 Sources

Tokoyama C., (2020). Is It Polite To Shake Hands In Japan? Retrieved from https://japaninsidersguideblog/is-it-polite-to-shake-hands-in-japan/

Is it rude to shake hands in Japan?

A handshake after a meeting is appropriate. Japanese have a weak handshake and little or no eye contact. Several Japanese bowed and shook hands. Linchino is a popular Japanese greeting to show respect and appreciation.

What is considered rude in Japanese culture?

Pointing at people or things is considered rude in Japan. Instead of using their finger to point to something the Japanese use their hands to slowly move towards what they want to point to. When referring to themselves people use their finger to touch their nose instead of pointing to themselves.

What country is it rude to shake hands?

For example in some countries and cultures calloused hands are considered disrespectful and an angry sign. Handshakes in places like North China Middle East South Africa West and South America are generally simpler and longer than in Western countries.

What are signs of respect in Japan?

In Japan, people greet each other with a bow. The more respect or formality youd like to convey, the deeper the bow. For friends and casual acquaintances, asmall inclination of the neck and head will do.

What is the Japanese handshake etiquette?

Many Japanese people use both bowing and shaking hands. But in some cases bowing is necessary – such as at formal events such as signing ceremonies or when receiving important people. Almost all Japanese people including women now automatically shake hands when they meet a foreigner.

Is it rude to hug in Japan?

No Hugging or Kissing In Japan touching someone elses body is considered rude even in the presence of friends and family. Hugs and kisses are mostly for couples.

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