General Japanese Etiquette Tips from ALTs in Chiba

1) Gratitude towards others and status shape the dynamic of relationships at work and within your personal life. Try to be respectful of those around you and always remember to whom you are indebted.
2) Try to speak Japanese as frequently as possible, but accept help, be humble and be patient.
3) People will mostly likely not tell you when you've made an etiquette mistake. You have to proactively see out advice and feedback.
4) Compliments about your English (and Japanese) as well as requests to speak English can become frustrating over time because you will hear the same thing over and over. However, this is probably a way another person may be trying to get to know you or to start a conversation. Try to understand where they are coming from.
5) No matter how long you are in Japan, you are going to make mistakes. So...relax. Etiquette is about being respectful to everyone around you and understanding their means of being respectful towards you. Etiquette helps you more easily have a great time in Japan as well as build strong relationships that will allow you to make a much bigger impact on the community around you. So do your best, stay positive and enjoy!

Five Etiquette Tips to Not Forget:

1) Timeliness is important (try to always be at least 10 minutes early to everything)
2) When in doubt ask questions
3) Openly express your gratitude through both words and gestures. Both are very important!
4) Try and show everyone that you are trying. Effort is the key to good etiquette.
5) Be patient and learn to laugh at yourself. There is a learning curve. You will make mistakes. Enjoy the learning process.

Handout from the 2014 Chiba Orientation: