In Japan, you have to be careful not to do the following things.
- Do not blow your nose on a train, in an office or anywhere in front of people.
You would be better off not blowing your nose in front of people. For the Japanese, blowing one´s nose should be done in the bathroom or somewhere in private. Many people go to the bathroom to do it and come back as if nothing had happened.
- Do not make sounds when you eat.
It is completely fine to talk during a meal. However, you should be careful
not to chew things while talking. We do not want to see inside of your mouth while eating. However, when you eat noodles and when you drink green tea are exceptions – sipping them is fine. It shows that you enjoy meals!
- Do not give mirrors or glasses as bridal gifts unless you are asked to do so.
Avoid presenting mirrors or glasses to a new couple. These things remind us of image which is “easy to break”. Also, the number of bridal gifts should not be 4 or 9. 4 and 9 are unlucky numbers in Japan.
- About marriage and children:
“Are you still single? When are you going to get married?” “Don’t you have children yet?”
These could be seen as impolite questions.
Some time ago, a politician said “Giving birth to a child is the duty of a woman” on TV.
That became a big problem.
Japanese people believed that to be mature, being married and having family is essential. People who have old-fashioned way of thinking are still thinking in that way.
As a result of this, certain people who aren’t married or who don’t have a family were regarded as unfulfilled.
However, in today´s Japan, thinking has changed. Marriage or having children is up to the individual. We cannot consider someone who isn’t married or doesn’t have any children as unfulfilled. That means we shouldn’t ask questions that pressurize someone into getting married.