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Posted by on December 13, 2018 – AIUEO Japanese Learning Blog
Japanese manners

日本語はこちら

Manners come in many forms and knowing when to use them is very important. In today’s AIUEO blog, we will be explaining some manners that you should take note of even between friends.

Sample Conversation
Why do we need manners?
Manners between friends

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Sample conversation:

A: Earlier on, my teacher said something funny in class, so I said, “Sir, you’re such an idiot” as a joke. And then my teacher smiled, but he seemed somewhat angry. I wonder why.

B: What!? You said “you’re such an idiot” to your teacher!?

A: Of course, it was meant as a joke. I thought my teacher wouldn’t get angry at that.

B: A, there should be “good manners even between friends.”

A: Good manners? Even among friends?

Everyone, have you ever had such an experience?

Why do we need manners?

Good manners are a code of conduct necessary to maintain good relationships with others in society. As represented by phrases such as “have good manners” or “be sure not to be rude,” acting while considering the other party’s feelings, and interacting with the other party while showing respect are basic ways of thinking. For example, when expressing your gratitude, you bow deeply, and when meeting someone for work, you fix your clothes.

I am sure there are many people who are careful when meeting people for work, or in front of someone, they are meeting for the first time.

Manners between friends

However, what is important here is the phrase (concept) “good manners even between friends.” This is the way of thinking that “no matter how close you are to the other party, you have to maintain the minimum level of ‘good manners.'” When we get closer to others, we tend to lose the courtesy in our words and attitude, but it is thought that relationships without good manners will fall through someday. This does not apply just for teachers or superiors like the example provided, but also for family and friends.

Depending on the culture, there are some places where not being considerate of the other party is thought of as a sign of “trust,” but in Japan, it might be easy to understand if you think that maintaining “good manners” towards the other party allows “trust” to be built. “Take the initiative to greet when meeting them,” “if you borrow something, courteously thank them when you return it,” and “use both hands when handing over something.” How about trying to do even small things with those close to you? Surely something should change.

About the author:

Kumi Tanaka

The author for this article is Kumi Tanaka-sensei. She is mainly responsible for the Business Japanese course, JLPT N1 classes, and Intensive courses. Tanaka-sensei is quite popular amongst our intermediate and advanced students! Currently, she is enjoying studying the Vietnamese language.

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