Japanese and humbleness

Japanese and humbleness

January 28, 2022 Blog 0

For Japanese learners, one of the first sentences to know is “どうぞ よろしくおねがいします – Dozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu” (Looking forward to your help). This saying is often used by Japanese people, especially in meeting each other for the first time.

In Japanese culture, there is an idiom that “The falcon hides its claws”. This saying is to express the opinion that the more talented people, the higher their status, the more humble they should be. Since childhood, the Japanese have been taught about humility and ingrained in the subconscious as a cultural trait. In a group, the Japanese often lower themselves and show humility by needing help and guidance from others. They themselves do not like to be praised too much and avoid showing off and revealing their personality.

In communication, if you compliment a Japanese person on a certain field, they will immediately deny it, even feel uncomfortable. So, if you want to compliment them, you have to show it very skillfully, you should not compliment them directly, you can ask them for advice, or simply ask them for more guidance.

The humility of the Japanese is also reflected in the way they give gifts. Whether the gift is of high or low value, they always give the gift with two hands and give it with the saying “Although it has no value, please accept it”. In fact, humble sayings are applied to many situations in Japanese communication. People in high-ranking positions such as the Chairman of the corporation or the Prime Minister, before giving a speech, often start with the sentence “I am still learning and I am afraid to stand in front of you here”.

Thus, from learning Japanese, children will also gradually understand the Japanese culture of humility and the style of “speak less, do more”, confident but not arrogant, boastful when working in groups. From learning languages, people can learn more things than they can imagine.