Gifts in japan
What is not given in Japan
It is not easy to buy a gift that combines attractiveness, usefulness and emphasizes your attitude. Japan is a country with a set of well-established traditions. In order not to get into a mess, be sure to figure out what is taboo.
- An expensive gift. Having received an expensive gift for the holiday, tradition obliges you to respond with an equally significant gift. It is better to limit yourself to something modest and original.
- To give useless things. Japan, a country where residents prefer to get useful things. Soap, toilet water, food, clothing, bed linen or towels. Magnets, postcards or decorative figures can offend.
- Give personal gifts. Residents value personal space, any interference is regarded as a sign of lack of culture.
- A white flower. For the Japanese, this is the color of mourning. To bring a bouquet of white roses or lilies for a birthday is equivalent to a punch in the face.
When is it customary to give gifts in Japan?
In addition to the usual reasons for all Europeans for gifts like New Year, birthday, wedding or personal events (moving, passing an exam or entering a university), there is a tradition in Japan to give gifts to loved ones at certain times of the year. There are two such periods in a year: one – at the end of July, the second – at the end of December, right before the New Year.
These periods last for two weeks, during which Japanese residents give gifts to their loved ones and to everyone they cherish and worry about. O-tyugen-the summer period is a kind of brother of the Chinese memorial holiday, which is celebrated on July 15. In ancient times, the Japanese did not give gifts, but rather made offerings to the souls of the deceased through their living relatives. Over time, already in the 18th century, Japanese merchants began to make small but pleasant gifts to regular customers. This gave rise to a new tradition: to give gifts not only to relatives, but also to friends, neighbors, business partners, colleagues and everyone who wants to express gratitude simply for the presence of a person in your life.
What is not accepted to give in Japan
Any search for a gift begins with the question :” What to give?”. A clear understanding of what things for gifts are considered taboo by the Japanese will save you from awkward situations:
- Very expensive gifts. It is customary to respond to any gift in the land of the rising sun with a gift that is not inferior in value to the presented present. Having made, even from the bottom of your heart, an expensive gift, you force the addressee to spend a decent amount on you in return. It is better to limit yourself to something more budget-friendly and modest;
- Useless gifts. These include everything that does not have a specific benefit. Souvenirs, magnets, collectible figurines, beautiful, but not utilitarian things. The Japanese will be more happy to accept toilet soap, tea or coffee, meat and fruit, towels and other simple things than a figurine made of precious metals or interior decor;
- Very personal gifts. If in Russia it is customary to be interested in the interests and hobbies of the addressee, learn about his hobbies and give a gift related to these interests, then in Japan personal gifts are a sign of bad taste;
- White flowers. White is considered a mourning color in Japan, and flowers in this range are often presented in honor of mourning, on memorial days and at funerals. At any other time, white flowers are not the best choice.
- Another sign of bad taste, which applies to all occasions and gifts of any type without exception, is the lack of packaging. Any gift, even the most inexpensive and insignificant, must be beautifully packaged. How-depends on the reason for the gift and the recipient.
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