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Thread: I wish to know about things that would be right and wrong to do in public in Japan.

  1. #9
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    Re: I wish to know about things that would be right and wrong to do in public in Japa

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahiko View Post
    Don't stick your chopsticks into the rice; it's bad luck.

    Actually, you're not supposed to stick your chopsticks in the rice standing up, because that is how food if offered to spirits.

    Also, you aren't supposed to pass food from one set of chopsticks to another, due to the fact that it is the way they place the ashes of the deceased into funeral urns.

    Also--and this is way off the topic of chopsticks--it's advised to blow your nose in discretion. It is considered impolite to blow your nose within eyesight or earshot of Japanese people.


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    Re: I wish to know about things that would be right and wrong to do in public in Japa

    Alright, that was very insightful!
    I have a few other questions also but I'll go over them one at a time.
    What would be apropriate for me to wear in Japan?
    (I know that you can wear casual clothes, but I want to know when a kimono or a yukata are apropriate also)
    If your happy and you know it make a kitty!!! =^_^= <Meow!

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    Re: I wish to know about things that would be right and wrong to do in public in Japa

    Wear regular clothes. be sure when you go over there to buy tons of Engrish shirts to show your friends back home, they lol me so much.

    People usually only wear yukata during summer festivals and if you are staying at a ryokan, a traditional japanese inn or at the hot springs. I don't know of any other specific time that women wear kimono except new year's and marriage ceremonies. Many older Japanese prefer to wear traditional japanese clothes, while most girls do not even know how to put a kimono on. Also, writers and even manga-ka like to wear traditional japanese clothes. To be eccentric, I guess. And of course those dealing with traditional Japanese culture would: kabuki actors, tea ceremony masters, traditional japanese martial artists...

    But considering the situations and type of people I mentioned above, it's clear that most Japanese don't usually wear their traditional clothes. It's cumbersome to put on and very uncomfortable to walk in; many really prefer casual clothes every day. Concerning formal ceremonies for work and school and stuff, they usually wear western suits and dresses...unless the ceremony deals with something traditional, like a tea ceremony.

    It seems you really want to wear one, though =). I'd also like to don a kimono, just for the experience.

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    Re: I wish to know about things that would be right and wrong to do in public in Japa

    Ok, thank you for the help. Western clothes are an ok!

    What is it with blood types and personalities?
    (How do they relate?)
    If your happy and you know it make a kitty!!! =^_^= <Meow!

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    Re: I wish to know about things that would be right and wrong to do in public in Japa

    Quote Originally Posted by Waremono View Post
    Ok, thank you for the help. Western clothes are an ok!

    What is it with blood types and personalities?
    (How do they relate?)
    It's kinda like a horoscope of sorts. It's believed that your blood type makes up your personality--from how you sleep and eat to how you act around other people. That's all I know, I'm still looking in to it myself.


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    Re: I wish to know about things that would be right and wrong to do in public in Japa

    Quote Originally Posted by Waremono View Post
    Ok, thank you for the help. Western clothes are an ok!

    What is it with blood types and personalities?
    (How do they relate?)
    Japanese blood type theory of personality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Maybe this wil help it dosn't explane al but at least it wil give you a beter understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahiko View Post
    PDA in public .

    Address people with the proper suffixes. -san is always the safe way to go for people you don't know very personally.

    I have some questions about the proper way of -san becose there are many ways of refering to someone, and i now some of them refere to someone of difrent position like -sama and -kun.
    But thats where it gets confusing, i know that you refere to someone that's hase a higher position than other is could -sama and someone whit a lower position is could -kun, but often in Anime girls cal male classmates -kun (i don't know how this is in normale life) and somthimes people are also could -sama whit the same position.
    And there are also lots of ways of saying the same thing, like -sama and -dono seem to be refering to the same thing.
    So how dose this work?

    Also would it be alrite if i just refer to someone whit the proper English way, Mister or Miss then name and not adding the -san?
    Last edited by gigi2005; May 01, 2007 at 03:17 PM.

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    Re: I wish to know about things that would be right and wrong to do in public in Japa

    Quote Originally Posted by gigi2005
    I have some questions about the proper way of -san becose there are many ways of refering to someone, and i now some of them refere to someone of difrent position like -sama and -kun.
    But thats where it gets confusing, i know that you refere to someone that's hase a higher position than other is could -sama and someone whit a lower position is could -kun, but often in Anime girls cal male classmates -kun (i don't know how this is in normale life) and somthimes people are also could -sama whit the same position.
    And there are also lots of ways of saying the same thing, like -sama and -dono seem to be refering to the same thing.
    So how dose this work?

    Also would it be alrite if i just refer to someone whit the proper English way, Mister or Miss then name and not adding the -san?
    You can find this explanation in many, many manga books. But I’m bored so I’ll explain it here.

    –san is one of the many ways, but the most common way, to address superiors or out-group members with respect. And why would you want to use the English Miss or Mr. to someone who isn’t used to English? If you go to Germany, you’d refer to everyone as “Herr”, not “Mister,” right? If the person is Japanese, go with –san.
    -san is sometimes automatically tacked on certain people: honya-san (bookstore owner, or bookstore itself), and famous landmarks and objects: Fuji-san (Mount Fuji).

    -sama is used as much as the Japanese honorific language Keigo is used – very rarely. Business owners may use it to talk to their customers to be extra polite: Okyaku-sama. One may use it to show utmost respect for the elderly, their parents and family members: Ojii-sama, Okaa-sama, although Haha-ue can be used for “honorable mother” as well.

    -dono is feudal Japanese language; it means “lord.” You may of course hear it in anime or manga, but the language in anime does not usually represent the spoken language of Japan. It is more honorific than –sama, and that’s saying something.

    -kun is a form used mainly among or referring to boys. They use it with girls too, but very rarely; it’s mostly a guy thing. Someone of a lower status wouldn’t use -kun to refer to someone of higher status or age. It is used:
    > in senior to junior situations (girls use –kun whan talking to/about their male underclassmen in school)
    > when boys of the same age talk to each other
    > when talking to a little boy (if not using –chan)

    -chan is an informal way to address someone, and is usually used to address younger children or girls (to be cute). Girls use it amongst themselves all the time. Schoolteachers and seniors may use it to refer to girls as well. -bo is also used for children, although I see it used mostly for little boys.

    -senpai = senior, -kohai = junior. Used not only in schools but in business settings such as an office as well.

    Sensei is an honorific by itself and does not need a ¬–san or –sama after it. (the same goes with buchou, shachou, and other business leader titles). Sensei is the word for “teacher,” but is not used solely for addressing teachers. You would use it for people who are professional/have mastered something: doctors, writers, laywers, and even manga-ka.

    Not using an honorific title at all is also important, and is the most intimate of all ways to refer to someone, and is used by very close friends or family members.

    A note on these titles and honorifics:
    - one does not use them to refer to oneself. I would say my name is Sei, not Sei-chan; that’s how I want others to call me =).
    - there are many other titles, such as –ue, -shi: and all those honorific job titles: -ka (in manga-ka), -sha, -shi, etc., and informal slang or dialects: -han, -tan.

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    Re: I wish to know about things that would be right and wrong to do in public in Japa

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahiko View Post
    PDA in public is a no-no, especially for the more conservative older crowd.

    Don't stick your chopsticks into the rice; it's bad luck.

    Never wear shoes in a house. They usually require you to wear socks or provide you with slippers.

    Slurping food is a sign of appreciation and respect. It's basically a compliment of "This food is delicious," without having to say it. Don't be afraid to slurp, but too much will make you seem barbaric.

    When eating the traditional Japanese way with the table on the floor, make sure to sit kneeling properly with your legs tucked underneath you. Your legs shouldn't be sticking out to the side or anything; it's considered improper.

    Address people with the proper suffixes. -san is always the safe way to go for people you don't know very personally.

    The list goes on and on. xD
    PDA is always public, hence the P.
    The chopsticks in the rice is not about bad luck but chopsticks standing straight up in a bowl of rice is what the Japanese put at mourning tablets. It's for the deceased.
    Many Japanese don't sit in the "seiza" position when they eat, just crossing your legs ("agura" position) is good too. Especially if you're a foreigner.

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