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Gift-giving

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Liz21
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Gift-giving

Postby Liz21 » July 8th, 2006 2:50 pm

Help! :shock:
I want to give presents to my friend in Japan. But, won't this obligate my friend to send me a gift and won't it make my friend feel uncomfortable? I would appreciate anyone's advice or information about gift-giving in Japan because it's something we Americans don't understand very well. :?

Bueller_007
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Re: Gift-giving

Postby Bueller_007 » July 9th, 2006 6:19 am

Liz21 wrote:Help! :shock:
I want to give presents to my friend in Japan. But, won't this obligate my friend to send me a gift and won't it make my friend feel uncomfortable? I would appreciate anyone's advice or information about gift-giving in Japan because it's something we Americans don't understand very well. :?

Not at all. The Japanese love to give gifts. Do a search of the forum. There's another post somewhere about this.

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Belton
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Postby Belton » July 10th, 2006 1:16 pm

I would imagine that your friend might have a similar reaction to what you would have if they sent you a present.

I worried a bit over this cultural problem but in the end decided I would follow my own culture and instincts on the matter.

That said in my limited experience, the Japanese I have met seem to have a more old -fashioned view of manners and etiquette (in a good way) compared to my experience of Europeans. And in things like presents and favours seem a little more conscious of reciprocating a gift or whatever. It's hard to generalise about several million people! (Other factors might be what generation they belong to. rural or urban. )

Traveller
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Postby Traveller » October 24th, 2006 3:36 am

Does this dynamic change if it is the receiver's birthday?

Also, how do they react to surprise birthday presents? Just a thought.

Bueller_007
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Postby Bueller_007 » October 24th, 2006 3:50 am

Traveller wrote:Does this dynamic change if it is the receiver's birthday?

They're the same as us.

If you give your friend Kate a present for her birthday, and she gives you NOTHING for yours, you might not be too pleased about it, yeah? Same thing applies in Japan.

Also, how do they react to surprise birthday presents? Just a thought.

The Japanese like receiving gifts, the same as anyone. But just like us, if you give diamond earrings or something to a girl you barely know, then she's likely to feel pretty uncomfortable.

Just do as you would normally do. They're not that different.

Traveller
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Postby Traveller » October 24th, 2006 4:04 am

Thanks for the prompt reply, Bueller. I guess this means the 24K Gold is out... ;-)

Seriously though, good points, good solid advice. I appreciate it.
I was thinking more along the lines of a postcard or a souvenir. :-)

Bueller_007
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Postby Bueller_007 » October 24th, 2006 4:28 am

Traveller wrote:Thanks for the prompt reply, Bueller. I guess this means the 24K Gold is out... ;-)

Seriously though, good points, good solid advice. I appreciate it.
I was thinking more along the lines of a postcard or a souvenir. :-)

They're always pleased to get things from other places. As pointed out on another thread somewhere on the forum, you should try to get a "meibutsu", something famous from the place you live/visit.

Ulver_684
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Re: Gift-giving

Postby Ulver_684 » September 6th, 2007 9:32 pm

Bueller_007 wrote:
Liz21 wrote:Help! :shock:
I want to give presents to my friend in Japan. But, won't this obligate my friend to send me a gift and won't it make my friend feel uncomfortable? I would appreciate anyone's advice or information about gift-giving in Japan because it's something we Americans don't understand very well. :?

Not at all. The Japanese love to give gifts. Do a search of the forum. There's another post somewhere about this.


Bueller_007! :wink:

That's not true because I sent my Japanese friend some Christmas gifts and she never gave one back not even for my birthday. :cry:

I guess that maybe she didn't want to pay the international shipment to the USA! :lol:

It's not fair because I didn't mind paying the Japan rates when I sent them out. :wink:

mtpiper
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Re: Gift-giving

Postby mtpiper » November 1st, 2007 7:27 pm

Ulver_684 wrote:Bueller_007! :wink:

That's not true because I sent my Japanese friend some Christmas gifts and she never gave one back not even for my birthday. :cry:

I guess that maybe she didn't want to pay the international shipment to the USA! :lol:

It's not fair because I didn't mind paying the Japan rates when I sent them out. :wink:


You're joking, right? If you're expecting something in return, then you're not giving a gift. I paid ¥4500 to send a small package to our friend in Tokyo and I have never expected anything in return. When I last talked to her on the phone, she said "I'm so sorry. I want to send you a letter but I am so busy!". That's no problem for us! Between high school and sports, she's away from home over 12 hours a day. And that doesn't include the time she spends at cram school. She normally gets to bed about 12:30am and is back up at 6:00am to get ready for the commute to school. The month she spent with us in Montana must have been heaven! Sleeping 10 hours a night, no studies, no trains, large bedroom to herself, her own bathroom.... She loved it!!

Ulver_684
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Re: Gift-giving

Postby Ulver_684 » November 2nd, 2007 2:45 pm

mtpiper wrote:
Ulver_684 wrote:Bueller_007! :wink:

That's not true because I sent my Japanese friend some Christmas gifts and she never gave one back not even for my birthday. :cry:

I guess that maybe she didn't want to pay the international shipment to the USA! :lol:

It's not fair because I didn't mind paying the Japan rates when I sent them out. :wink:


You're joking, right? If you're expecting something in return, then you're not giving a gift. I paid ¥4500 to send a small package to our friend in Tokyo and I have never expected anything in return. When I last talked to her on the phone, she said "I'm so sorry. I want to send you a letter but I am so busy!". That's no problem for us! Between high school and sports, she's away from home over 12 hours a day. And that doesn't include the time she spends at cram school. She normally gets to bed about 12:30am and is back up at 6:00am to get ready for the commute to school. The month she spent with us in Montana must have been heaven! Sleeping 10 hours a night, no studies, no trains, large bedroom to herself, her own bathroom.... She loved it!!


Mtpiper-san! :wink:

Thank you for your reply, I didn't mean to say I want a gift back but since I gave her a birthday present last year, I think it was polite to sent me one too on my birthday but it never happend but anyway maybe next time. :shouganai:

Fedgrub
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Postby Fedgrub » November 22nd, 2007 12:36 am

If you offer a gift, like they said in this thread, just keep it at the level you would expect. If someone gave you a necklace you would feel uncomfortable. Many Japanese sometimes decline the gift they are offered because they don't want to feel the pressure of not giving something back or wondering whether you expect them to give something back. When you give your gift, just stay modest about what it is (in relation to its size and value) and even if they decline once, offer it again as they may just be trying to be nice about accepting it. You probably should work on that rule when receiving a gift also.

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