word for toasting is kampai, pronounced 'kahm-pie'.
When toasting the glass is never left unfilled.
Drinking is an important part of Japanese culture.
It is a way to relieve business stress.
Never pour a drink yourself;
always allow someone else to do it for you.
Most business entertaining
is done in restaurants or bars after business hours.
Often in karaoke or "hostess bars." Businesswomen
should not attend "hostess bars."
Let the host order the
meal and pay. Business may be discussed at dinner
during these events.
Japanese rarely entertain
in the home. If you are invited to the home of
your Japanese host, consider it a great honor and
display a tremendous amount of appreciation.
If you are invited to
a social event, punctuality is not expected. It
is the custom to be "fashionably late."
If you do take your host
out insist upon paying. The Japanese will refuse
but insist. They will prefer that you choose a
Western-style restaurant when entertain them.
Key phrases to learn are "itadakimasu" at
the beginning of dinner, and "gochisou-sama-deshita" at
the end. It is polite use these phrase and it will
show you host that you have enjoyed the meal.
is a very useful term to add to your vocabulary
along with the phrase "kekko desu" (I've
It is perfectly acceptable
to slurp your noodles. Doing so will exhibit your
enjoyment of your food. To do otherwise, indicates
that your meal was not a pleasant one.
Do not openly display
money. It is rare to see it given from person to
person in Japan. It is important to use an envelope
to pass money.
In Asia the number 14
is bad luck, because in Japanese it sounds like
the word ‘shuh-shuh’, which sounds
like the word for death.
Tipping is not expected.
Gift giving is very important
both business and personal gifts - See international
business gift giving section.
Style is tantamount. The
gift itself is of little importance, the ceremony
surrounding it is very important.
Always wrap gifts.
The selection of the wrapping paper is critical.
Do not give anything wrapped in white as it symbolizes
death. Do not use bright colors or bows to wrap
the gift. It is better to have the hotel or the
store wrap the gift to ensure that it is appropriate.
Do not surprise the recipient
with the gift. Give your host some warning during
the evening that you intend to give them a present.
Give the gift with both
hands and accept gifts with hands.
Generally, gifts will
not be opened in your presence. If your host insist
that you open the gift do so gingerly. They take
pride in gift wrapping, show that you appreciation
Do not give gifts in odd
number or the number four, as odd numbers are bad
luck and four sounds like the word for death in
Gifts should be given
at the end of a visit.
Do not admire anything
belonging to your host too closely. The Japanese
strive to please; you may be rewarded for your
The most popular gift
giving occasions in Japan are oseibo, which
falls at the end of the year and O-chugen which
falls during the middle of the year.
Good gift ideas include
top choice beef, fruit and alcohol such as brandy,
quality whiskey and Bourbon along with excellent
wines. They also appreciate gifts from high-end
department stores like Saks and Neiman Marcus.
The Japanese frown on
open displays of affection. They do not touch in
public. It is highly inappropriate to touch someone
of the opposite sex in public.