Japan’s indirectness reaches as far as its non-verbal
communication. Unlike westerners who speak their minds at
any point in time, the Japanese find it rude to interrupt
in the middle of a conversation. In addition, silence is viewed
as a time frame where people can think about what is being
communicated and understand the concept behind the idea or
comment being stated. Though westerners may feel uncomfortable
sitting through silence, it is best to just relax and be patient
while the Japanese take a moment to understand what has just
the Japanese are so indirect, what is not being said also
needs to be understood. In other words, you need to read through
the lines and understand what is being implied.
Looking someone in the eye is considered a sign of confidence
in the Western world. Once again, this is another aspect that
the Japanese are so uniquely different from the western world.
To the Japanese, looking at someone straight in their eyes
is considered rude and a means to a challenge. The Japanese
will look down to show respect to the other person. Usually,
the region of the Adam’s apple is where the Japanese
tend to direct their sight.
First and foremost, the Japanese people try to avoid showing
their emotions in public. Their “uncommitted face”
may not mean that they are not interested; they just don’t
want to show too much expression.
also uncomfortable with any physical contact such as a hug.
However, the Japanese do recognize the western tradition of
shaking hands and would gladly adhere to that tradition, especially
to make the relationship more personal.
should be used with caution. Because certain hand gestures
have certain meaning behind them, using them at inappropriate
times or the misinterpretation of the signal can be insulting
to the Japanese.