Japanese kids bow to drivers who give way to them—do you practice it in your country?


Japan is famous for its extremely polite culture. For the Japanese it is very important to show respect to one another even if you don’t personally know each other. 

The Japanese word Ojigi which means bowing, is an essential part of Japanese custom to show respect, gratitude, greeting, or apology. Compared to Western culture which normally uses handshakes or hugging, the Japanese bow is a reflection of Japanese non-confrontational attitude. Bowing is a formal way of greeting which avoids awkwardness and showing respect at the same time.

Bowing is a universal form of interaction and communication in Japan 

This type of behavior is instilled in their culture when they are still very young. Children are taught to respect their elders anywhere they go. They would follow their parents and watched how adults would behave with each other respectfully.

When this type of attitude is instilled at a young age, they would grow up and the behavior becomes a habit. Thus, this creates a generation of respectful citizens that many would look up to.

In a video shown by a Japanese talk show, there’s a recording of how Japanese would cross a road. The video showed that after they have crossed the road, they would bow to the car that was waiting for them to cross as a sign of gratitude and respect.

The lower you bowed, the more respect you show towards the person 

Japan’s culture of good manners does not only come in a form of bowing, they also portray their politeness in other forms of behavior such as waiting in line and even eating. The Japanese are also quite disciplined as they are very well behaved. They don’t cut in line and would wait patiently for their turn.

Queuing portrays patience and respect for those who have come before you 

Before eating, they would wait until everyone is seated and prepared. They pray before eating their meals together.

In Japan, it is considered rude to eat before waiting for others

What do you think about the politeness culture in Japan? Do you practice them in your country? 


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