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What happens if you sneeze in Japan?

1. Introduction

Sneezing is a natural reaction of the body when something irritates the nose. It is a reflex action that can be triggered by allergies, colds, or even a change in temperature. But what happens if you sneeze in Japan? In this article, we will explore the Japanese reaction to a sneeze and how it differs from other cultures. We’ll also look at some superstitions surrounding sneezing in Japan as well as how to apologize for it.

2. What happens if you sneeze in Japan?

In Japan, when someone sneezes, it is considered polite to say “bless you” or “gesundheit” to show your concern for them. However, since these words are not commonly used in Japanese culture, the phrase “お大事に (o-daiji-ni)” is more often used instead. This phrase roughly translates to “get well soon” and is used as an expression of sympathy and caring towards the person who has just sneezed.

Japanese Snack Box

3. Japanese Etiquette and Customs When Sneezing

When someone sneezes in Japan, it is customary for those around them to bow their heads slightly as an expression of concern and respect. This gesture shows that they care about the person who has just sneezed and are wishing them well. It also serves as a reminder that everyone should take care of their health and take precautions against getting sick themselves.

4. The Japanese Reaction to a Sneeze

In general, people in Japan tend to be more aware of their surroundings than those from other cultures when it comes to things like coughing or sneezing into their hands or covering their mouth with tissues or masks when they do so. This awareness helps prevent the spread of germs and keeps everyone healthy which is why people in Japan take such precautions when someone around them has just sneezed or coughed into their hands without covering up properly first.

5. Superstitions Surrounding a Sneeze in Japan

In addition to being seen as an act of courtesy, there are also some superstitions surrounding a person’s reaction after someone else has just sneezed near them in Japan. One such superstition states that if you don’t say anything after someone else has just sneezed then you will have bad luck for seven days afterwards! Therefore it’s best not to ignore a person’s sneeze but rather show your concern by saying something like “お大事に (o-daiji-ni)” which means “get well soon”!

6 How to Apologize for Sneezing in Japan

If you happen to be the one who has just sneezed then it’s polite to apologize for this by saying something like “すみません (sumimasen)”. This roughly translates into “I’m sorry” and shows your awareness that your actions may have disturbed others around you even though they were unintentional on your part!

7 Conclusion

Overall, what happens if you sneeze in Japan? Well, it’s considered polite for those around you to show their concern by saying something like “お大事に (o-daiji-ni)” which means “get well soon”. There are also some superstitions surrounding this act which may lead people to believe that bad luck will follow if no one says anything after someone else has just sneezed nearby! Finally, if you’re the one who has just done so then make sure to apologize with “すみません (sumimasen)” which means “I’m sorry”.

8 FAQs about Sneezing in Japan

Q: Is it rude not to say anything after someone else has just sneezed nearby?

A: It isn’t necessarily rude but there are some superstitions surrounding this act which may lead people to believe that bad luck will follow if no one says anything after someone else has just done so! Therefore it’s best not ignore a person’s sneeze but rather show your concern by saying something like “お大事に (o-daiji-ni)” which means “get well soon”!

Q: What should I do if I’m the one who has just done so?

A: If you’re the one who has just done so then make sure to apologize with “すみません (sumimasen)” which means “I’m sorry”. This shows your awareness that your actions may have disturbed others around you even though they were unintentional on your part!

9 Sources

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Tokoyama C.,(2021). What Happens If You Sneeze In Japan? [online] Available at: https://japaninsidersblog/what-if-you-sneeze-in-japan/ [Accessed 15 April 2021].

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