Japanese Greetings Etiquette

Greetings are said to be very important part of Japanese culture. If you are going to visit Japan for the first time of your life, this is a thing you should care about seriously.

In Japan, you have got to follow certain etiquette just not only for being a modest person to others but also for respecting its unique culture. Whenever you are to meet with someone in Japan you have to bow and say konnichiwa (Hello in Japanese)!

Take a look at the following points that clearly guide you how to deal with Japanese greetings customs.

Bow as many as time you want, no problem with it! Photo Credit: Yiannis Theologos Michell at Flickr.

1) When you are to learn about Japanese greetings, the first and foremost thing that comes is bowing. Please note that people greet each other by bowing in Japan.

2) A bow could be either formal (most polite) or informal depending on the situation. Though there are three types of bow that depends on the deepness of the waist bend.

3) A formal bow can be classified into two types: Saikeirei and Keirei. The Saikeirei bow is required when you have to express your feelings of deep gratitude or apology to someone. In this bow, the waist of a person is typically bent at about a 45 degree angle.

Meanwhile, the Keirei bow is kind of a respectful bow where you lower your torso about 30 degrees. Often it is used in business interactions in Japan.

It is a formal bow. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

4) An informal bow (eshaku) is performed when you greet with your friends. In fact, it could be used when passing by someone of a higher social status or people of the same status. The Eshaku bow is said to be the most casual bow where your waist is bent at about 15 degree angle.

5) Usually when you enter a shop or restaurant you will be greeted and welcomed by the staff. In response to this, are you going to bow to them as well? In fact, it is not required but performing an Eshaku bow would make them feel about you “oh this person is real modest”.

6) Keep in mind that whether you have to thank, make a request, ask, respect, and apology someone a simple bow is always appreciated.