Japan: Japanese gestures

If people from different countries not enough to understand each other, they are trying to help yourself with gestures. This often creates the misconception that our habitual gestures should be intuitive, for example, Japanese. This is not so.

Like many things, the system of gestures in Japanese, a completely unique, so the use of sign language in communicating with the Japanese has very judiciously. Examples of misunderstanding on this ground there is a great variety. Consider just a few of them.

So, if in response to the hospitality of the Japanese to hold the edge of his hand at the throat, showing that you were already completely full, then it will produce on him the most painful impression, since this gesture the Japanese can only mean decapitation, or in a milder modern version, fired from the job. In this situation it is better to hold the edge of the palm under the chin and over the head – then the Japanese are more likely to understand that You have treated “the roof”.

If a person, connecting the forefinger and the thumb as a circle, wish to show that he’s all right, mimicking the expression “okay”, in Japan it can be understood as a desire to obtain money, for the circle is also shown for Japanese, especially for Japanese of the older generation, is to coin money.

If we want to Express that we don’t need anything much, and only “here stoliczka”, while showing little finger, it too will be misinterpreted, even if the conversation is good at Japanese language, because the little finger raised in the Japanese system of gestures means “woman”. Similarly, gesture “thumb up, the other clenched in a fist”, meaning in the European tradition “perfectly good” causes confused poluulybki female Japanese audience. In their system it means “man”.

The gesture of inviting the Japanese, exactly the same as with our gesture of farewell – hand turn from yourself and rocking it back and forth. As our welcome gesture – palm facing the interlocutor, swinging left-right – by the Japanese interpreted as a gesture of farewell. Saying “I”, European will point at own chest, the Japanese will put the index finger on your nose. Pose thought in the European tradition – the palm at the forehead. Japanese in thought crosses his arms on his chest.

Pointing gesture in Japanese – is the hand stretched out palm up in the direction indicated. For the Americans, for example, resembling the gesture of beggars. Therefore, Japanese employees of hotels, which, incidentally, perhaps the world’s only do not take tips, but often use this gesture, inviting the guests to visit, condemned as ransomware.

Annoying foreigners the Japanese way of applauding hands, not pointing diagonally to one another, elongated and straight, so that the fingers of one hand touching the fingers of the other. It seems undignified manifestation of childlike, because in Europe and America clap your hands young children.

Confusing for visitors and remains the Japanese women’s habit to cover his mouth with his hand when they laugh. This gesture is retained very firmly, regardless of age, social status, level of culture and education. Interestingly, the Japanese themselves are also at a loss to explain it – we only know that for women it is considered indecent to openly show their teeth.

When we want to imply that someone not in his right mind, wagging a finger at a temple. The Japanese in this situation brings a fist to his temple suddenly and opens his fingers.

When the Japanese puts index fingers to head like horns, then this means that a third party, for example, the head, mad as hell.

Bringing a clenched fist to nose, Japanese shows, something similar to the Japanese long-nosed Goblin tengu – it is the same evil, stupid and vindictive.

Hitting the crossed index fingers, demonstrate that the two people that is called “knife”.

Some Japanese gestures associated with traditional movements during services. So, with prayers in Shinto shrines in order to attract the attention of higher beings, used clapping (kashiwada). Hence the custom of Tajima, which is often used to mark the end of a successful Banquet, reception or special event. Gathered together clapping your hands ten times in the rhythm of 3-3-3-1 (ponzona). Sometimes that clapping is repeated three times and then is called samejima.

We can say that some Japanese gestures are still the same as ours. But such gestures are only few. So, and our people, and Japanese in the same way you’re scratching the top when they are worried about something or confused. We have to admit that when communicating with each other, both sides use this gesture quite often.

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