Japanese Culture

Greetings

  • Use formal titles when addressing someone for the first time and do so until they permit you to do otherwise. Similarly, never call a Japanese businessman by their first name.
  • Most Japanese who live in Australia have adopted the handshake as their primary way of greeting, however those unfamiliar with Western greetings may bow.
  • The casual bow is a slight bend from the waist and a dip of the head. It is used when informally greeting someone or walking past someone of a higher status.
  • Business interactions involve a deeper bow, where the torso bends from the waist by about 30 degrees.
  • The deepest, most polite bow expresses sincerest gratitude or apology. One lowers their torso to about 45 degrees or such angle from which the head would have to stretch upwards to look into the face of another. If offering this bow, keep your head lowered.
  • To hold a bow longer than another shows respect or humility.
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