Friday, June 26, 2020

Japanese Smile Etiquette

“Even in the Japanese culture, non-verbal expressions use the eyes more than the mouth, which makes it easier for the Japanese to determine if a smile is genuine or fake, smiling is still a way to show respect or to hide what you’re actually feeling. This is also the reason why Japanese emoticons used in texting and chatting on the Internet are often mostly expressed with the eyes than the mouth. - ^_^ - Japanese emoticon to express happiness, main focus on the eyes.” — Diplomatic protocol, etiquette and communication expert Gabriella Kanyok 

Unique to Japan... A Land Where Laughter Has no Relation to Happiness?

File Under “More Unique Things About Japan”  

One English author and academic claims; “Perhaps one of the severest of etiquettes in Japan is that of smiles. When you have lived in that land of smiles, you will learn in time that when you can understand a Japanese smile, you may hope to understand the people. A daughter-in-law must always present a smiling face to her mother-in law; the servant must smile when his mistress dismisses him. But the news of a death must be told with laughter. Laughter is reserved for very special occasions and has no relation to joy. Smiles are used on every occasion to conceal real feelings. They are not always significant of pleasure. 

“No wants has the Japanese.” The same writer continues, “He can live in his clothes without a tent, he can live on rice or offal of the sea, and he is so accustomed to carrying heavy weights and running long distances that he can be his own commissariat and even his own horse.” If the Japanese are somewhat lax in regards their religion, they are at any rate, believers in cleanliness. The writer says: “Personal cleanliness is a virtue which all Japanese servants possess. It is no unusual thing for a Japanese servant to apologize to a mistress for not having had time to bathe more than three times that day.” — Weekly Journal, 1905

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

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