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Sitting rules that you must follow in Japan

21.10'13 - Jörg Nitzsche, Japan Interpreter
Categories: Popular culture
Going to Japan for a business meeting? Make sure that you follow the sitting rules and order that people in Japan follow.

In Japan, it is quite common to sit upright on the floor in a kneeling position. Both the genders practise this style of sitting. The Japanese word for this formal way of sitting is Seiza. As a foreigner, you may not feel comfortable sitting in seiza style. In fact, many Japanese people also find it difficult to sit like this and are able to sit in the seiza style for only few minutes.

For this reason, the formal style of sitting is followed at traditional meals, Japanese tea ceremony, and at other traditional events and festivals. On casual occasions, Japanese males sit cross legged and women sit with both legs at one side.

If, however, you are not able to follow the Japanese sitting style, do ensure that you adhere to their sitting order. The most important or the senior most guest sits farthest from the entrance. There is a special honored seat for him. It is known as kamiza in Japanese language. The person who is least important or one who is host sits closest to the entrance, called shimoza.

Adhere to the sitting rules and etiquettes when doing business with the Japanese people. They would be impressed and would show keen interest in doing business with you.

If possible, look for German Japanese translator or English to Japanese translation services. You would get a better insight into the Japanese culture, their ways of doing business, and every day living and the knowledge that you gain would aid you in doing business with your Japanese colleagues.


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