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ERIC Number: ED119489
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Americans and Japanese Nonverbal Communication. Linguistic Communications 15 (Papers in Japanese Linguistics 3).
Taylor, Harvey M.
Each culture has its own nonverbal as well as its verbal language. Movements, gestures and sounds have distinct and often conflicting interpretations in different countries. For Americans communicating with Japanese, misunderstandings are of two types: Japanese behavior which is completely new to the American, and Japanese behavior which is similar or identical to American behavior, but which carries a different meaning. An American constantly uses eyes, eyebrows and forehead to express his feelings during conversation. Japanese are taught not to show their emotions in this way, so Americans think of them as uninterested or untruthful. Americans smile with their mouths and eyes during friendly conversation; Japanese widen their mouths to form certain vowels and this may seem like an insincere smile. When an American nods his head, it signifies agreement; for Japanese, it merely means attentiveness. Japanese bow politely; Americans may interpret this an insincere fawning. Japanese hand gestures may also be misunderstood by Americans. As for seated posture, an American may sit in a casual, relaxed position and interpret the stiff, polite Japanese pose as unfriendly. Similarly, proximity, odors, environmental temperatures and the uniform colors of Japanese clothing will puzzle or put off Americans. International relations require an examination and understanding of such cultural nonverbal communication. (CHK)
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A