Japanese in Japan

Greetings and Partings

One person bowing to another

Greetings play an important social role in Japanese culture, and most social situations have an appropriate greeting. Visitors should make a point of trying to learn greetings associated with various occasions.

In Japan, it is not customary shake hands, hug, or kiss when greeting or taking leave. Bowing is common, and appropriate particularly when greeting or taking leave of an older person or someone one does not know very well.

The Japanese language has both a polite and an informal form. The polite form is used among adults and by young people when addressing someone older. The informal form is used between young people of the same age.



Click on the text to hear the spoken phrase.