Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Manners in Japan

Japan is known to have a well-mannered culture, probably because majority of the citizens are polite to other people. One obvious example is the use of “keigo” and “kenjougo,” different word usages we have for elder people. Using these words in addition to making nice actions shows hierarchy that Japanese culture values greatly. They only sound slightly different from normal conversations, but in Japan, it is a way of showing that the young are kind and courteous to the elder.

Another example would be to arrive 10-15 minutes before a set time. If it requires one to join someone else, like work, hang out, or have dinner, one must arrive earlier than the set time and place. In Japanese culture, it is considered rude to make someone else wait, especially if you are meeting up with an older person, so arriving a little early is very important.

Additionally, one can sense the well-mannered culture just by cruising around the cities. It is very strange how Japan doesn’t have many trashcans set around the city for a place where majority walk or take public transportations. However, many people take responsibility for their own trash, either by holding it until they spot one, or to keep it in their handbags until they get home. Also, as many decide to take public transportation, trains get very crowded, especially around rush hours. Much pushing and shoving may take place as everyone wants to make sure to get in the train, but when arriving at each station, people are also polite enough to walk out of the train so people inside can get out more easily.

As listed above, many citizens care about others, which could be the reason for Japan being known as a well-mannered country. Come visit Japan to see how people interact with others!

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