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Shake hands or bow? How do you usually greet Japanese business acquaintances?

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Japanese bow systme is so comlicated that foreiners should avoid it and istead, shake hands for the saftety sake. The bow syteme means differently depending the angle of the bow.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

Japanese bow systme is so comlicated that foreiners should avoid it

Or learn it. It depends on how long one is in Japan. One week? Don't worry about it. one year? Worry about it.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

When in Rome...


3 ( +5 / -2 )

Shaking hands by foreigners of course might be accepted or tolerated nowadays, especially by younger counterparts, but anyway, it's a violation of the person's physical privacy zone in every single case, like other similar issues, coming too near, touching, knocking shoulders, whispering into ear, hugging, kissing and all such. Better reduce your body interactions to zero if possible, which means only bowing. And with an angle of about 30 to 45 degrees you won't make too much errors in usual situations. Lower or no bowing is also considered a bit rude, while a deep 90 degree bow is only needed for very high ranked persons or if you made a very big error and want to excuse. So if you bow too deep, the other person might again feel bad, because not being in higher rank or your 'excuse' attempt for a smaller or no issue is kind of disturbing. Finally, if in rare case a handshake is offered, then ensure to do it, otherwise ignoring or bowing only would again be kind of a rude mistake.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Big man hug with some of my pals. Bahamian handshake with others. Slight now with some business acquaintances. European kisses on both cheeks for some female friends.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I just follow the rules of wherever I am, it's their country, I always try and find out what is the way of greeting, formal and informal way, I don't want to tick off and offend anyone, even if it is for a short stay.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It used to crack me up when I first came to Japan to see people bowing on the phone. But I found it even funnier six months later when I saw myself doing the same thing.

6 ( +8 / -2 )


Same here, Lol sometimes I don't realize bowing while talking on the phone until I hear my son is laughing and taking a video of me.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If a hand is extended, I extend mine. If bowed, I bow. It’s not complicated.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I shake their bowed heads.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

All superficial anyway so don't sweat it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I always make the first bow and go as low and deep as possible. Never had any issues. Apart from a sore back.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Bowing means submission. However, when bowed, I always bow back, but always keeping eye contact.

However, a man handshake can tell a lot about him, so I definitely prefer that interaction.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

DanteKHToday  09:53 pm JST

Bowing means submission.

Only if one person bows and the other does not.

When both bow it is a sign of respect.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thankfully, I don't have any business associates to greet. But, on a social level, I usually give a little downward nod. It's kinda the opposite of the "hey" head nod used casually in the US.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bowing means submission.

Do you even know anything about Japan? That's not how it works.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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