Polite remarks – Japanese
Japan has a very distinct culture compared to its neighbors, and one aspect noted by many visitors to Japan — especially Western ones — is the extreme emphasis on politeness. Although other Asian cultures often come across to Westerners as obsessed with confusing rules of etiquette, the Japanese have a reputation for being extremely polite even in other Asian countries.
The general principles of politeness in Japanese culture involve avoiding explicit disagreement or refusal at all costs, never criticizing one's own in-group (whether that's your family, your company, your school club or whatever) in front of outsiders, being extraordinarily deferential toward others in general and authority figures in particular, and indirectly praising others while downplaying one's own accomplishments.
The person in the lower position is expected to use a polite form of speech, whereas the other might use a more plain form. Strangers will also speak to each other politely. Japanese children rarely use polite speech until their teens, at which point they are expected to begin speaking in a more adult manner.
Japanese people prefer not to stand close to others. Try and avoid touching others. It is rude to talk to someone when leaving your hands in your pockets. It is considered vulgar to stare at someone. Eye contact isn’t polite.
When you first meet someone say “Hajime-mashite” which basically means to begin a new acquaintance. People shake hands while meeting. The handshake is quick, and has no eye contact. Bowing is most common in Japan. People bow as a thanks or an apology. Depending on whoever is a higher status, the other must bow longer and lower.
Blowing your nose in front of someone is rude, leave the room or at least turn around. Use a tissue, not a handkerchief. Sarcasm is not appropriate for any situation. The Japanese consider it rude and may ruin a relationship. Japanese women wear their kimono with the left side over the right. DO NOT wear it the other way it is only for the deceased person at a funeral.
Congratulations! - おめでとうございます！Omedetōgozaimasu!
Good luck! - 幸運 [Kōun]
Sit down, please. - お願いし座る [Onegai shi suwaru]
Please give my regards to everyone. - 皆様にどうぞよろしく。[Minasama ni douzo yoroshiku.]
Kindly look after this matter for me. - どうかよろしくお願いします。[Douka yoroshiku onegai itashimasu.]
Please reply as soon as possible. - なるべく早く返信してください。Narubeku hayaku henshin shite kudasai.
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