Friday, July 27, 2018

Japanese Etiquette and Kissing

Young love blossoms in the wonderful Japanese film, “Our Little Sister”... “Public displays of affection have always been frowned upon, and still generally are: a kiss on the lips is serious business.” Western-style, or American-style kissing, was not something many Japanese had seen, as it was cut out of movies shown there until after WWII. When many first saw it, they considered it strange, if not to mention, unhygienic. 
“There are all kinds of kissing all over the world, but traditionally, in Japan there has only been two kinds and they are the romantic kissing done by couples or kissing babies. Public displays of affection have always been frowned upon, and still generally are: a kiss on the lips is serious business.” – Source of quotes, JapanToday.com, 2012. Photo source Pinterest

The  Notion Counter... He Wants Kissing Taught

As more or less generally known, kissing has never been developed to any great extent, either as a science or as an art, among the Japanese. Some time ago, Judd Mortimer Lewis, famed columnist of the Houston Post-Dispatch, visited the flowery kingdom, and noting the neglect of this delectable practice, humorously suggested the establishment of a chair of osculation at a Japanese university, going so far as to offer his services as instructor. 

A forward-looking native, who perhaps had visited the Occident, eagerly expressed approval of the idea, in the following letter to Mr. Lewis: 
‘‘I am the only investigator on kissing in Japan. Kissing must be known of the Japanese, but they do not care for it. The Japanese governor does not permit to teaching them obviously even if it is so important a thing in etiquette. I wrote five times an essay on kissing,  but the Japanese Metropolitan Police look at them as demoralization. You say you will be able to be the lecturer on kissing. The day will come, I am wishing, when I myself will teach. The Japanese government are cutting the scene of kissing in the film without the knowledge of it.”
- LaHabra Star News, 1933

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia