Sunday, January 8, 2023

Etiquette for Respect in Japan

Sucking in the breath is Japanese etiquette for respect and appreciation, and when I intimated anything derogatory to the daikon to a Japanese acquaintance, he commented on our lively cheese. 

When She Ate Her Evil Smelling “Daikon”

Certainly, she had a way of sucking in her breath that put our teeth on edge, and we fled the house when she ate her evil smelling “daikon,” a long white radish, which also would make a skunk remark, “there's no use in living.” But sucking in the breath is Japanese etiquette for respect and appreciation, and when I intimated anything derogatory to the daikon to a Japanese acquaintance, he commented on our lively cheese. Thus the races keep tabs on one another and suppress vainglory. But I silently reflected that a foreigner cooking and eating alone would soon come to serving himself out of sardine boxes and baked beans from the can.

The root of this difference seems to lie in the fact that in the Orient, house-keeping is almost the only profession open to women. This is why they are so expert and pleasing in their methods. From the Empress to the maid there is but one law. In the handbook, which every Japanese woman knows by heart, “The Code of Morals for Women,” No. 16 of the eighteen articles reads: “Though a woman have many servants, it is the rule of women that she do all the business herself. She shall sew the clothing and cook the food of her father and mother-in-law; she shall wash the clothing and sweep the mat of her husband, and when she nurses the child she shall wash the linen herself. Women shall always live within the house, and also not go out without any business.” — From “The Aesthetic Housekeepers of Japan,” by Mary Gay Humphreys, 1904


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

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