Customs and traditions of Japan

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Virtually unchanged since the middle ages preserved traditional Japanese costume, national interior, literary Japanese tea ceremony, theatre “Kabuki”, “but” and “Bunraku” and many other equally peculiar traditions. And all this – surrounded by ultra-modern technological civilization!

The number of traditions and rituals that are required or recommended for compliance, is huge. Almost all spheres of life of the country is permeated by a network of traditions and ceremonies, especially noticeable in the communication between people.

The Japanese carefully and lovingly refer to nature, admire the natural beauty of the landscape, weather, flowers or sea. Numerous ceremonies contemplation of flowering trees, the full moon or the autumn colors are integral elements of society.

Handshakes are not taken, they are replaced by bows, and “return” bows require the same frequency and reverence, which shows the other side. The Japanese are polite and helpful in communication. The hospitality of the Japanese “in the blood”. Direct refusal is not accepted even if the request is impossible, so you should think about the feasibility of your wishes. Also often misleading smiling traditional Japanese, especially women, under any circumstances – even failure or some embarrassing moment will be accompanied by a smile that confuses many foreigners. At the same time, “zaparivatsya” relationship (even too small distance between the interlocutors) are completely unacceptable and cause the Japanese have a sharply negative attitude. It is also recommended not to look the man straight in the eye (this is perceived as aggression) and actively gesticulating.

Of great importance tableware, table setting and decoration of dishes. Before the meal taken to wipe his face and hands with a special hot towel ” osibori “. Each dish is served in specially designed crockery for him and takes a strictly defined place on the table, each person is allocated an individual table. Courses no, the entire order (except tea) exhibit on the table at once, but is accompanied by adaptations to heat (chafing dish, spirit lamp) or combination dishes (separate gravy boat kits with spices, etc.). Tableware and serving items are strictly divided into “male” and “female”.

For chopsticks (“Hashi” or “Hashi”) there is a separate stand “Hashi-Oki” (a small ceramic rectangle or specially cut a wine cork), and serves them in a special colorful paper case “Hashi-bukuro”. Although traditionally food from a common dish, it is necessary to take reverse ends of the chopsticks, this custom is now obsolete and is practiced in very formal or Sorority. “Hashi” can not cross or stick to the rice (it is associated with death – in this form usually bring offerings to the spirits of ancestors), do not need to specify sticks to something, gesticulating or waving them during the meal is considered a sign of bad taste. In any case you cannot send food “of the sticks in the sticks” – in Buddhist tradition exactly convey the remains during funeral rites.

Traditionally the soup should be drunk, not eaten with a spoon; the exception is new year’s soup “o-Zoni”, as well as soups with noodles, usually served in large dishes – the noodles can be eaten using chopsticks and drink the broth. Permissible and even necessary to smack one’s lips, tasting the hot noodles (Udon, ramen or “soba”) – it is believed that thus the flavor of the noodles seems to be even more enjoyable. Allowed to eat rice, holding a bowl in one hand. In a friendly atmosphere, as well as restaurants (“kaitenzushi”) of sushi, “nigiri sushi” (sliced fish on rice) and Maki (rolls) to eat with your hands, and sashimi – sticks. Sushi and rolls are preferably all at once – otherwise a half-eaten piece of should be kept in hand, not to put on a plate. Women should hold his hand under the food that you send in your mouth; men do not need. You should also not move the food on a plate or utensils on the table.

At the table pours drinks the youngest of those present. Beating all the guests (starting with the oldest), he puts the bottle on the table and waits for him, in turn, will fill the glass of the eldest. It is considered insulting to pour a drink, holding your hand back side up. To drink “bottoms up” and pour yourself is not accepted. It is recommended to fill a glass bowl or a neighbor, and he in turn should do the same for you.

Widely known and “passion” of the Japanese to hygiene and cleanliness.

General rules

Smoking is not accepted in public places, in offices, depots and railway platforms, as well as in homes and cars without the owner’s permission. You can not step booted foot on straw-mats “tatami” is regarded as a sacrilege. This particularly applies to dwellings or to visit temples. You should also change shoes in special Slippers before and after using the toilet.


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