How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

by Teva Serna

Do you do business in Japan? Costly mistakes to avoid

Are you planning a business meeting in Japan or are you dealing with Japanese partners? The Japanese commercial label has been the subject of many books and studies, but in many ways there are many parallels between Japan and British business culture. The main difference is the degree of formality which is higher in Japan. We have compiled some tips to help you increase your chances of success in the Japanese market. Here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid at all costs:

1. Adopt the difficult selling method

High pressure and aggressive sales tactics are ineffective in Japan. By staying objective and using a conservative and restrained approach, you will be taken more seriously than if you were bold. As in Britain, confrontation should be avoided. Instead, try to express your disagreements indirectly and subtly. The Japanese rely mainly on non-verbal cues and pick up on your objections, even if you express them indirectly.

2. Congratulations to the person

Japan, like most other Asian countries, is known for positioning the group above the individual. Consequently, you should always avoid praising a person. Both the individual and the rest of the group will feel uncomfortable, which can create tension in the group.

3. Forgetting the hierarchy

Unlike in most Western countries, length of service in Japan depends on age. Il sistema gerarchico è forte e i manager più anziani dovrebbero essere trattati con un po’ più di rispetto rispetto ai manager più giovani. You should always introduce yourself to the oldest person in the room first.

4. Don’t read the business card

Business cards are a key part of someone’s identity and the ritual around them is very important in Japan. When accepting a business card, take it with both hands, read it briefly, and place it carefully in the case, not in your pocket. You should always have your business cards ready. Print your cards in both English and Japanese, and feature the Japanese side when you deal out the card. Never slide or throw a business card on the table and avoid writing on it.

5. Waiting for decisions to be made during meetings

Perhaps the most important point to remember is that meetings in Japan are held to gather information, not to make decisions. Your Japanese partners will meet you to hear what you have to say, not to finalize the results. Trying to make a final decision during a meeting can damage your relationship with Japanese partners. However, decisions are usually made quickly after the meeting due to increasing competition in Asia. Furthermore, verbal contracts are traditionally preferred to written contracts. As a result, your Japanese counterparts shouldn’t be forced to sign documents.

How to be prepared: intercultural training

Knowledge of Japanese will help you develop business cooperation in Japan. However, cultural awareness will optimize your chances of bargaining and establishing strong business relationships. Intercultural training will help you develop key cultural awareness skills for running a business in Japan. At Cactus Language Training, we offer several options that can be combined to be fully trained and ready:

Contact us

For more information on how Cactus Language Training can increase your profits or to get a quote, call us or contact us with any questions. Cactus also offers free and no-obligation language consultations for companies and individuals.

Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:

Evening language courses: 19 different languages ​​in 15 locations across the UK
Language holidays: immersion courses around the world in the country of the language
Private tutoring: customized and corporate language training solutions around the world
TEFL: Training courses for teachers of English and other languages ​​around the world
Online courses: for teacher training, English and French

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

by Teva Serna

Do you do business in Japan? Costly mistakes to avoid

Are you planning a business meeting in Japan or are you dealing with Japanese partners? The Japanese commercial label has been the subject of many books and studies, but in many ways there are many parallels between Japan and British business culture. The main difference is the degree of formality which is higher in Japan. We have compiled some tips to help you increase your chances of success in the Japanese market. Here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid at all costs:

1. Adopt the difficult selling method

High pressure and aggressive sales tactics are ineffective in Japan. By staying objective and using a conservative and restrained approach, you will be taken more seriously than if you were bold. As in Britain, confrontation should be avoided. Instead, try to express your disagreements indirectly and subtly. The Japanese rely mainly on non-verbal cues and pick up on your objections, even if you express them indirectly.

2. Congratulations to the person

Japan, like most other Asian countries, is known for positioning the group above the individual. Consequently, you should always avoid praising a person. Both the individual and the rest of the group will feel uncomfortable, which can create tension in the group.

3. Forgetting the hierarchy

Unlike in most Western countries, length of service in Japan depends on age. Il sistema gerarchico è forte e i manager più anziani dovrebbero essere trattati con un po’ più di rispetto rispetto ai manager più giovani. You should always introduce yourself to the oldest person in the room first.

4. Don’t read the business card

Business cards are a key part of someone’s identity and the ritual around them is very important in Japan. When accepting a business card, take it with both hands, read it briefly, and place it carefully in the case, not in your pocket. You should always have your business cards ready. Print your cards in both English and Japanese, and feature the Japanese side when you deal out the card. Never slide or throw a business card on the table and avoid writing on it.

5. Waiting for decisions to be made during meetings

Perhaps the most important point to remember is that meetings in Japan are held to gather information, not to make decisions. Your Japanese partners will meet you to hear what you have to say, not to finalize the results. Trying to make a final decision during a meeting can damage your relationship with Japanese partners. However, decisions are usually made quickly after the meeting due to increasing competition in Asia. Furthermore, verbal contracts are traditionally preferred to written contracts. As a result, your Japanese counterparts shouldn’t be forced to sign documents.

How to be prepared: intercultural training

Knowledge of Japanese will help you develop business cooperation in Japan. However, cultural awareness will optimize your chances of bargaining and establishing strong business relationships. Intercultural training will help you develop key cultural awareness skills for running a business in Japan. At Cactus Language Training, we offer several options that can be combined to be fully trained and ready:

Contact us

For more information on how Cactus Language Training can increase your profits or to get a quote, call us or contact us with any questions. Cactus also offers free and no-obligation language consultations for companies and individuals.

Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:

Evening language courses: 19 different languages ​​in 15 locations across the UK
Language holidays: immersion courses around the world in the country of the language
Private tutoring: customized and corporate language training solutions around the world
TEFL: Training courses for teachers of English and other languages ​​around the world
Online courses: for teacher training, English and French

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

Knowing when to bow in Japan and which is the right way can seem daunting to first-time visitors, especially since bowing isn’t very common in Western culture. Meanwhile, the nods naturally come to the Japanese, who usually start learning important etiquette from an early age.

The right nods to any potential social or business scenario are critical to success. Making a mistake of etiquette at the wrong time can potentially derail a deal, signal incompetence, or create an embarrassing situation that leads to “loss of face”. Some Japanese companies perfect the etiquette of employee bowing in formal classes; some are even trained to do business with drinks!

You don’t have to feel awkward – with a little practice, you’ll bow and abandon yourself to Japan without even thinking about it. Doing so becomes automatic after traveling to Japan for a week or two.

Reasons why the Japanese bow

In Japan, bowing is not only used for greeting and greeting. You should also bow down on other occasions, such as:

  • Showing respect
  • Expressing deep gratitude
  • Say goodbye
  • Offering an apology
  • Say congratulations to someone
  • Express sympathy
  • Ask a favor
  • Showing appreciation
  • Start of a formal ceremony
  • Start a training session
  • When entering or exiting combat sportsdojo

Bow against handshake

In their early encounters, many Japanese avoid the awkward situation by offering Westerners a handshake instead. In formal settings and business meetings, sometimes a combination of handshakes and nods will be a nod to both cultures. If you are unsure, keep bowing while in Japan. In Japan, handshakes are more common among close friends and they congratulate each other on their recent success.

Simply follow your hosts’ directions on what comes first; however, you should certainly do everything in your power to bow properly if offered. Your guests are undoubtedly competent in helping others save face and will try not to embarrass anyone.

Although a handshake is still relatively rare among Japanese, it has become the symbol of a strong relationship, signaling a deeper relationship than Westerners attribute to casual handshakes. Some Japanese executives want to shake hands after announcing a big deal or a high-profile merger of two companies.

Bow and shake hands at the same time

Both bows and handshakes are used in business and formal greetings. Avoid the common novice’s mistake of bowing nervously when the other party has planned to shake hands. It happened in 2009 during President Obama’s visit to the emperor of Japan.

You can avoid potential embarrassment by expressing your intention to bow. If the other person reaches out to shake, don’t bow down instead! As you approach, you can tell when the person or group will bow first. They often stop a little further (just beyond reach of the handshake) with their feet together. Po ukłonie możesz zmniejszyć dystans o krok lub dwa i w razie potrzeby uścisnąć dłoń.

There are times when you bow and shake hands at the same time, but doing it one at a time is better etiquette. Constant eye contact is expected during the handshake; meanwhile, your gaze should be downward when bowing correctly. Only martial artists should maintain eye contact while performing the bow!

If there is an arc that trembles (sometimes it happens) you will undoubtedly be around. Head bouncing is not a good way to make friends, so turn slightly left.

How to bow the right way

The correct way to bow in Japan is to bend at the waist, keeping your back and neck straight, if possible with feet together, eyes down and arms straight at your sides. Women often bow with their fingertips together or palms interlocked in front of their thighs.

Address the person you greet directly, but look down at the ground as you bow. It’s okay to bow down with a briefcase or something in your hand; putting it back first is optional. However, you should receive someone else’s business card (if anyone is following the bow) respectfully with both hands and with a slight dip.

The deeper the bow and the longer it is held, the more respect and submission are shown. A quick, informal bow involves a bend of about 15 degrees, while a more formal bow requires a 30-degree torso bend. The deepest arch is to bend at 45 degrees when looking at the shoes. The longer you hold the bow, the more respect you show.

In general, bow deeper to supervisors, elders, judges, people in high office or office, and whenever the situation requires additional respect.

Remember to look down as you bow. Choose a spot on the floor in front of you. Maintaining eye contact while bowing is considered bad form – even a threat – unless you are ready to fight your opponent in martial arts!

Sometimes you can bow more than once until someone finally gives up and stops the ritual. Each subsequent arc will be shallower. If you are forced to bow in a crowded situation or in a confined space, turn slightly to the left so as not to hit your head.

Give friendly eye contact and a warm smile after swapping bows. It is best not to combine the bow (requires eyes to be turned down) and a handshake (eye contact is expected).

Regardless, showing effort and knowing a thing or two about bowing etiquette in Japan goes a long way in building better relationships. Unfortunately, Westerners are known for their sloppy bows in Japan. Watch some videos or ask a Japanese friend to demonstrate the technique.

Serious bows

Bows with sincere apologies are usually the deepest and last longer than other bows. On rare occasions, to express a deep apology or gratitude, a person will lean over 45 degrees and count to three.

Long arcs over 45 degrees are known assaikeiri and they are used only to show deep compassion, respect, apology and praise. If you get an audience with the Emperor of Japan, schedule a show saikeiriotherwise stick to less extreme arches.

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

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  • シ ェ ア.
  • は て ブ.
  • LINE
  • Pocket

Are you a Japanese entrepreneur or are you thinking of opening a shop in the Land of the Rising Sun? Then take the chair and tilt your ear. The Japanese market is a difficult market to enter. But with the right preparation, you can succeed where others have failed. How can you fail? Well, you can do it:

Summary

BLIND JUMP

You’re spending both time and money opening up a new business in a new market. If you want to achieve your goals, you need to think of everything and come up with an effective game plan. Keep track of your ROI indicators. Set the timeline. Make sure you’re on track as you progress.

And don’t assume the tactics of one nation will translate to another. There are many companies that thought their strategies operating in a market would work in Japan, only to see their efforts fail. Adapt to your surroundings and find out what works and what doesn’t in Japan.

WE ARE ALONE

Businesses are fundamentally relationships – between individuals, between groups, between companies. In Japan, this is double, where you are defined by your place in the social stratum. The business card exchange informs about this placement from the very beginning. Building strong relationships is essential, so don’t waste time getting to know your team of experts.

You can’t succeed without a strong level of familiarity with the locals. Affiliate marketers can be invaluable in this industry.

USE OF LANGUAGE ABBREVIATIONS

Translation is difficult. Nuance, intention and inference can be lost or accidentally inserted if you aren’t careful. In Japanese, this becomes frighteningly topical. An innocent sentence in English can sound too aggressive in Japanese. Or, a seemingly clever slogan can fall out completely.

When creating your brand message for Japan, be clear and insistent about what it is you’re trying to convey about your company or brand. Lazy or thoughtless translation can be extremely harmful.

DON’T BE FLEXIBLE

Japanese society is largely conservative and traditional. But those unchanging ways don’t relate to consumer trends. With the growth and expansion of e-commerce, Japanese shopping trends are changing rapidly. You have to adapt to their speed or lag behind.

Japan changes as much as it stays the same, and you worry if you’re not ready to change.

Ignoring the Lord

25% of Japan’s population is over the age of 65. Life expectancy increases, while marriage and birthrates decline. This percentage is expected to increase rapidly. As a result, many products and services directly target this demographic with great success.

Regardless of what you offer Japan, be wary of seniors when developing content or iterations that appeal to them. You’ll be doing yourself a favor.

AVOID PRINTING

Young people love mobile devices. It’s always a good idea to invest in online advertising, and maintain a presence on the popular social media platforms. But, if you’re looking at marketing in Japan, you can’t ignore the aged (see above).

Japanese elders are avid newspaper readers. So much so that, despite being the tenth population in the world, three of the top five newspapers in circulation come from Japan. Yomiuri Shimbun has nearly 20 times the daily circulation of the New York Times. Food for the mind.

When it comes to English, the Japanese are fighting! You wouldn’t believe the panic and dismay when they want to purchase a product, but give up at the sight of the English language.

Gloture is a new class of promotional agencies located in the heart of Tokyo. We specialize in helping foreign startups introduce products to the Japanese market.

Being the best choice in our field, we will take care of every step from start to finish.

Get in touch today and let Gloture help your brand stand out with great success in Japan!

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Don’t fall into the same old traps

There are many known mistakes that foreign companies have been making in Japan for many years. Surprisingly, foreign companies keep repeating these well-known mistakes!
Don’t make such well-known mistakes! (We will help you avoid them ….)

Much of this is due to common sense. However, you also need to know a lot of facts about Japan and customs. You will find that some of your assumptions are wrong!

You will also find that not everyone (Japanese and foreigners) tells you everything they know;)

La maggior parte dei "bug noti" sono nell’organizzazione della tua attività!

  • Sometimes problems in a Japanese branch are best solved by changing responsibilities in the main office at home! We are happy to discuss any such issues with you and work on a solution using our vast experience.

The big no-no: no market research and no preparation

  • The biggest “no-no” is inadequate preparation or starting without a strategy. You can assume that normally your Japanese partners will make their own preparations and will have a big advantage if you are not prepared for it. If you don’t prepare well, you will definitely weaken your position. The lack of preparation cannot be compensated for by macho behavior, self-confidence and even arrogance.
  • You will be surprised how much the long and costly bankruptcy of Western companies is due in large part to a lack of preparation, a lack of market information and a lack of planning. A very famous Western company has lost 10 billion dollars or more in Japan and has damaged its brand several times due to lack of knowledge of the market. Market research in Japan often seems expensive, however it is expensive, a good market research is almost certainly much cheaper than failing and withdrawing from Japan

Doing business in Japan: how to be successful? Detailed Answers:

  1. Why can business in Japan be difficult?
  2. Changes and new opportunities
  3. Avoid known bugs
  4. What can we do with the difficulties of Japanese business?
  5. Relations
  6. Japanese commercial label
  7. Japanese business meetings

Contact us

International travel is a great way to learn about different ways of living and thinking, which is a great way to broaden your perspective and understand how the world works as a whole. If your travels will take you east and you’re planning to visit Japan, we would like to fill you in on a few tips to avoid offending anyone.

Make sure you limit smoking in the house

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

Smokers in America are used to having to go outside several feet away from an establishment before lighting up, but they’ll want to change their way of thinking when visiting Japan. There, it’s not illegal or frowned upon to light up while inside a restaurant or bar, but the same cannot be said of smoking outside such establishments in cities like Osaka and Tokyo. If you want to smoke outdoors, look for the “tobacco corners” first. Otherwise, you could be fined $ 400.

Only cross the street if you have permission

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

Another important aspect of Japanese etiquette is refraining from walking in Japanese, which is commonly allowed in North America. Even if there aren’t any other pedestrians around to see you crossing the street without permission from a streetlight or while outside a crosswalk, there’s a chance you can receive a honking rebuke from a driver, even if she or he isn’t near where you’re crossing.

Do your part to keep the streets clean

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

Just like you wouldn’t make a mess in someone else’s home, you shouldn’t make a mess while visiting someone else’s country. All of Japan’s major cities make it easy for pedestrians to properly dispose of trash, meaning there’s really no reason for anyone, tourist or native, to toss away a plastic bag, cup or other common forms of everyday disposables. While you might not be fined for littering, you’re sure to get hit with plenty of disapproval on the faces of the locals.

Keep your fingers to yourself

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

Travelers who have a habit of pointing to things and people in public should work to limit their impulses. It’s considered rude to use a hand or any other part of your body, and even an object, to point at someone. It’s more polite to instead employ a quick hand gesture without extending a finger.

Refrain from talking on the train

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

Americans don’t usually think they’re having a conversation on a train or bus, but the same habits can prove disruptive while in Japan. During train rides, Japanese passengers do everything from playing games on their phone, reading, and sleeping to putting on makeup, but one thing they don’t do is engage in conversation. Traveling by train is a great way to find some peace, while also refraining from eating and drinking, which are just as bad as talking on the train.

Stay in line

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

While in Japan, you may notice how well their lines are organized. Participate in maintaining the status quo, not cutting it. This is something to be especially aware of on the train. Specifically, you’ll want to let people off the train before you step on. Additionally, while it’s considered good manners to hold the door open for people rushing toward the elevator, train or bus, this behavior isn’t practiced in Japan.

Take off your shoes before entering someone’s home

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

Many here in America can understand taking their shoes off before stepping into someone’s home, which is customary in Japan. Not everyone is fastidious about keeping their shoes clean, and even if they are, they can still track in a number of microscopic particles and allergens when stepping into someone’s home.

Can you think of other mistakes that can be avoided when traveling to Japan? Sound off in the comments below.

Avoid these seven beginner mistakes to make your next visit to Japan a hassle-free experience.

By Kelsey Leuzinger June 19, 2014 5 min read

Some people come to Japan knowing the history and culture of the country, are obsessed with manga and anime, or have learned more than just “konnichiwa”. While others suddenly get told that they are moving to Japan, it’s the only option for their life for the next two years and they arrive knowing almost nothing.

I was the latter, having arrived with a few thousand others thanks to the U. S. Military. Since I didn’t have the time to get to know the culture before arriving, I made some serious rookie slip-ups. Here’s a look at some of the most common mistakes to avoid that could end up costing you a lot of time, money, or embarrassment.

In the restaurant

Most foreigners are aware that Japanese cuisine is special, but some guests aren’t fully prepared for what’s to come in the restaurant.

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

1) Expect everyone’s food to arrive at the same time.

After working in the food service industry in the United States for years, it is ingrained in me that each guest’s dish should arrive at the same time.. Little did I know, Japan sees food service differently. They make the dishes as quick and fresh as possible and deliver them to the table exactly when they are finished. This often means that each dish is delivered at different times. On many occasions I have finished my meal before my friend even got hers, but have had to force myself to remember “It’s not rude…it’s not rude…”

2) Pay the bill at the table.

After everyone has finished their meal at a Japanese restaurant, the waiter often leaves a check on the table. This doesn’t mean lay down some cash on the check and wait for them to come pick it up like in America. Most restaurants pay at the cashier. I can’t even count how much times my friends and I have been waiting for the server to pick up the check, just to find out we should pay at the register.

3) No advice.

DON’T DO IT. Period. At least not in the restaurant. Most people have heard this rule before, but you definitely don’t want to offend the kind staff at the restaurant or make them run after you when they assume you accidentally left some money behind. Because they will chase you to return the minimum amount of yen.

In store

Speaking of money, there are some major and minor mistakes to avoid when shopping in Japan.

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

4) Assuming that every store, shop, train station and tourist attraction accepts credit or debit cards.

When I came to Japan, I walked around the city every day thinking, “well, of course they get the cards at the market on Mikasa Street!” They didn’t. I would say, “I’m positive we can use our cards at the train station.” We couldn’t. Everywhere I went I kept finding more and more places that didn’t take credit cards and being surprised every time.

What’s worse, I was still using an American card that wasn’t being read at most ATM machines. One day after learning this belated lesson for the hundredth time, I discovered that the post office always accepts your card at its ATMs. Unfortunately, they’re typically closed on Sunday and often close early during the week. Moral of the story, bring the money! (Note: You may be luckier with 7/11 ATMs than I am, but to be safe, always take cash before traveling too far from home)

5) Thinking you should answer "Irasshaimase." (い ら っ し ゃ い ま せ).

When you first come to Japan and try to learn a language while being polite, you end up with many wrong attempts to answer when someone speaks to you. I know I’ve done this more than once, using “arigatou” or “konnichiwa” or whatever came to mind when I walked into a Japanese store and the staff yelled “irasshaimse” at me.

Otherwise, the Japanese are so calm! It’s rather shocking, but don’t worry; nothing is expected of you except the occasional smile. In case you are wondering, “Irasshaimase” means “welcome”.

On the train

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

6) "Prenderò solo il prossimo treno, questo è troppo affollato."

I’ve heard this one more than once, definitely a rookie error. The next train is likely to be just as busy, or even busier! So, if a train is coming and you see a penny the size of a penny you can put your foot in, slip in there! The faster you go crazy, the faster you will reach your destination.

7) Laugh and speak out loud.

Japan is exciting! You can hear people speaking in a new language, see all the unique fashion, eat crazy food, and ride trains on the world’s most advanced rail system. In all of this excitement, it’s easy to get caught up in conversation or laughing at that hilarious mishap you just had at the coffee shop. However, causing all this fuss on the train is rude in Japan.

Sometimes you may hear exceptions, such as noisy teenagers or residents who have drunk a little too much, but it’s generally considered polite to be as quiet as possible on the train. It isn’t a place for socializing, but more for sleeping or alone time. It’s difficult, I know; but the more respect we foreigners can show the Japanese, the better the experience.

No one is perfect and every foreigner makes mistakes when visiting such a deeply rooted culture. Thankfully the Japanese are a forgiving people, so we don’t have to worry about our slip-ups too much. Live and learn, but avoid as many as possible if you want to focus on the fun, not the frustration of adapting to this new country.

This is the latest blog in our Japanese commercial label mysteries (How Not a Fake Pas). Provides tips on how to avoid insulting a Japanese businessman.

There has been much written about Japanese commercial label, but sadly much of it seems written by people who have not been to Japan for many years. Furthermore, most guides do not take into account the fact that Japan is a collision of tradition and modernity. That’s why we developed our Business Etiquette series, which includes:

How to avoid offending a Japanese?

How to avoid etiquette mistakes in japan

There are a few things about Japanese culture that you should know even if you are outside of a work situation:

  • Take off your shoes when entering houses (they give you another pair of slippers to wear). We have also experimented with this habit by entering offices that are part of the fabric / laboratory. Don’t worry, the Japanese host will have slippers for you to use.
  • Never tip anyone! In Japan, this is considered an insult.
  • Don’t eat while walking.
  • Use both hands if you are giving / receiving a gift.
  • If you are using chopsticks, don’t use them, leave them in a bowl, play with them, or feed someone else who uses them.
  • Be on time and don’t raise your voice as it will be considered crude.

Here you are. After following these tips, you should leave a great impression on your Japanese contractors. Good luck!