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People don’t shake hands in Japan

The simple, interesting and popularly known fact with the Students studying Japanese language is, people in Japan don’t shake their hands in meetings. Well, they BOW!!!

“Ojigi” is the Japanese word for Bowing. Interestingly in Japan you will find people bowing over the phone as well.   There are three different types and many more situations of Ojigi practises in Japan.

  1. Eshaku: In Eshaku greeting is done by bowing in 15 degrees. This way is a bit more formal and used as a greeting to the people who we know but are not familiar with.
  2. Keirei: It is about 30 degrees. This is a very formal way of bowing. Used to show respect to the employer or to the older person.
  3. Saikeirei: This is 45 degrees bow. Saikeirei has a very deep meaning. It is a way of showing a very deep sense of guilt when making mistakes. It is also used to give respect to people with very high rank or social status, such as the Emperor of Japan.

Above three are common in practices, however there is one more called as Dogeza. (The kneeling bow) This one has a truly deep meaning, even more than saikeirei. If someone had made ​​a big mistake, which was harmful or dangerous for another person, that person usually does the kneeling bow. It was also for people to show respect the Emperor in ancient times.