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Japanese Students
Sitting SITTING Bowing BOWING Being Direct BEING DIRECT Nature NATURE CALLS

Culture shock - it happens. The degree of shock will depend on your length of stay. Short visits usually stay in the pleasant honeymoon phase, where everything is new and exciting. Once the novelty wears off, the real culture shock sets in, and you are no longer amused. Don't lose your cool; be prepared. Be aware of the different customs, and remember that you are the guest.

In most cases, the Japanese are tolerant of foreign customs and understand the diversity of different cultures. Certain situations do require you to follow the Japanese example such as the removal of shoes when entering a Japanese home. Eating in public is also considered a faux pas.

SITTING
When socializing with locals or visiting their homes, expect to sit on the floor. Sit with your legs beneath you, and if you must stretch your legs out, do it discreetly and make sure not to point them in anyone's direction. Pointing your feet (the lowest part of the body) at people, even inadvertently, is a breach of etiquette.
BOWING

When meeting a Japanese person, bow slightly from the waist and drop your head. The rule is that the deepness of the bow depends on the status, relative to yourself, of the person to whom you are bowing. For example, when meeting a boss or supervisor, make sure to bow deeply.

Obviously, foreigners are not expected to bow perfectly. In most cases, a handshake is acceptable, but the bow is still considered more respectable.

BEING DIRECT
In Japan, directness is construed as being rude. Generally, being direct is characteristic of Westerners, but while in Japan, try to avoid direct statements that may seem confrontational. Basically, try not to blatantly disagree with the Japanese in conversations.
NATURE CALLS
Although it is not uncommon to see men urinating in public, blowing your nose in public is considered vulgar. Although annoying, keep sniffing until you can relieve your nose in privacy.
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