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ERIC Number: ED324937
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Japan: Body Language and Etiquette as a Means of Intercultural Communication.
Sherman, James L.
While English-speaking businesspeople may have difficulty learning Japanese, they can improve communication skills with Japanese nationals by placing more emphasis on body language and etiquette. This knowledge can supplement limited verbal skills in Japanese and promote communication in all-English conversations. Body language, or gestures, are of three types: instinctive, semiotic, and paralinguistic. Gestures that have become formalized in Japan and acquired meanings other than those intended or understood by English-speakers include the smile, bow, and certain specific hand gestures. Some common gestures may have no intrinsic meaning to westerners but need to be understood. In addition, derogatory gestures are generally made only to a third party. Aspects of Japanese etiquette that are important for the foreigner to acknowledge include the fact that the Japanese generally do not touch, blow their noses, eat, or behave loudly in public. Dress is more formal, business cards are essential, and such behaviors as seeing people off at a train station or airport, patience, keeping adequate personal distance, close attention in conversations, and addressing individuals appropriately are also important. Specific behaviors are proper in a Japanese family situation. While sources of information about Japanese gestures are rare, books and software teach Japanese etiquette. (MSE)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan