Manners in Japan(Part 2)Business cards

Business cards in Japan or as we say in Japanese, めいし are not as simple as just handing it over and placing it in your pocket. I made this mistake when I first arrived here and believe me, I didn’t make the same mistakes again. It lost me a job I went for. Honestly, I was rejected because of my business card manner.

So here are some business card (めいし) manners

  • You should bow at a 45-degree angle.
  • When handing your card over, make sure you use both hands with the text facing the other person.
  • Offer your card with your right hand and take their card with your left hand.
  • Your feet should be together with your toes facing opposite angles.
  • If your counterpart is a higher position than you, you should hold your card lower than him before handing over.
  • If you are not at a meeting, you should hold the card on top of your card holder or wallet and not just place it inside straight away.

·            Have a nice, clean card holder

·            You should take time to read it

·            If at a meeting you should leave it on the table next to you but be aware to put it away just before the meeting ends.


Here are some things NOT TO DO

  • Never write on a business card someone just gave you
  • Do not play around with a business card
  • Do not put it in your pocket
  • Using the card as a fan
  • No matter what you do, do not ever use the card as origami
  • NEVER leave the other persons card behind

This may seem easy, but in practise it is not. Try it at home with a friend or partner. Believe me I wish I knew these things when I first arrived! I hope you enjoyed this part 2 on Japanese manners

Article written by David
Photos by David


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