Japanese gift etiquette

Liza Mirelman
2 minute read

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Gift-giving is an important part of Japanese culture, and there are several important etiquette rules to keep in mind when giving and receiving gifts in Japan. Here are some of the most important:

  1. Always wrap gifts beautifully: The presentation of the gift is just as important as the gift itself. Japanese culture places a high value on aesthetics, so take care to wrap your gift beautifully, using high-quality wrapping paper and ribbon.

  2. Use both hands: When presenting a gift to someone, use both hands to hold it out. This shows respect and appreciation for the recipient.

  3. Don't open the gift immediately: In Japan, it's considered rude to open a gift in front of the giver. Instead, thank the giver and wait until you're alone to open the gift.

  4. Don't give gifts in sets of four: In Japanese culture, the number four is considered unlucky, as it sounds like the word for "death." Avoid giving gifts in sets of four.

  5. Choose the right gift: When choosing a gift, consider the recipient's interests and preferences. In Japan, gifts that are handmade or have special cultural significance are highly valued.

  6. Don't give overly expensive gifts: In Japan, it's considered inappropriate to give gifts that are overly expensive or lavish. Instead, focus on giving thoughtful gifts that show you care.

  7. Give gifts at the right time: In Japan, gifts are often given to mark special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, or business meetings. It's important to give gifts at the appropriate time and in the appropriate context.

By following these etiquette rules, you can show respect for Japanese culture and create meaningful connections with the people you're giving gifts to.

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