Our guest blogger this week is Pernille Rudlin, co-author of our latest title, "The Lowdown: Business Etiquette - Japan."
For most non-Japanese people, bowing correctly is a challenge, and in my opinion, we worry too much about it. Most Japanese people, when meeting with a foreign person, will expect to shake hands. I usually advise that a slight nod of the head or bend at the waist is a good cultural compromise when shaking hands with a Japanese person. If you have not been brought up to bow, and also had it drilled into you again at an induction course in a Japanese company, when you do try to do a full bow, you will almost certainly get it wrong, by bowing too deeply or for too long a time, which will result in your Japanese counterpart feeling obliged to dip down again for a further round of needless bowing. You often see this happening in public in
I do know of one case where bowing actually did lead to physical injury, as told to me by the British employee of a Japanese company in Europe: “Our new Japanese Managing Director for
Bowing is deeply engrained in the Japanese psyche, it would seem. One Japanese friend of mine, who has been living in the
Pernille Rudlin is the European Representative of Japan Intercultural Consulting
Photo by qwaar