The Etiquette of Giving and Receiving Gifts in Japan

The Gift-Giving Etiquette of Japan

 

-When visiting a person’s home, a gift should be given to the host/hostess.

-Gifts should be unwrapped carefully in front of the giver.  One should not rip open the wrapping; it should be carefully undone (Rationale: The Japanese history of origami and the love of paper).

-The numbers 4 and 9 are considered unlucky. Number 4 is “shi,” which is the same word used for “death”; and the number 9 is “ku,” which is the same word as “suffering.”  Gifts in sets of four or nine, therefore, should never be given.

-Items should be given and received with both hands.

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