Tag Archives: VIRUS

Fight the #CORONAVIRUS by #Bowing the #Japanese way instead of shaking hands!

Forget about the traditional hand shakes!


Japanese style bowing

Japanese style bowing


French people often shake hands or even exchange kisses on the cheeks, when greeting friends, acquaintances, colleagues, partners or even clients sometimes. This is part of everyday life.

Following the CORONAVIRUS crisis worldwide, health authorities have strongly recommended to stop such practices in order to avoid spreading the virus and being infected. Some people refuse to comply with this, ignoring the warnings and various messages on TV, as this is part of the local culture.

There is however no need to stop greeting your counterparts!!!

Why not bow like Japanese people do?



PS> Guidelines (when there is no virus): To bow or not to bow? That’s the question.


Bowing in Japan is a typical way of Greeting and Showing Respect.  When Japanese bow to each other, the person of lower status bows more deeply.


If you are not Japanese, how should you behave?

Depending on whom you are meeting:

  • When meeting International interlocutors from Japan: no bowing is needed, « handshakes » are most probably OK (when there is no virus around).
  • When meeting Domestic interlocutors: only shake hands if offered by your Japanese counterpart! If no hand shaking seems possible, bow a little (the angle has a meaning). In front of VIP people (higher status), bow more deeply.

When do you need to bow with Japanese?

  • At the beginning: when exchanging cards
  • At the end: when leaving, when saying goodbye


If you want to know more about #JapanCross-cultural Management, you will find more information in our book: “Bridges to Japanese Business Etiquette: Understanding Japan Cross-cultural Management”.






#Huysveld   #GBMC   #CORONAVIRUS   #Bowing



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