A Short Guide To Japanese Phrases, Culture & Honorifics ____ i - Honorifics (In highest standings to lowest.) Sama - A more respectful version of 'san'. Used to refer to individuals who hold much higher ranks than yourself, but it does not exclude customers, guests, divine entities or those who you admire. San - The most commonplace honorific. It is typically used between equals of any age. It's the closest analog to the English, "Mr", "Miss", "Mrs" and "Ms". Kun - Used by people of senior status to address someone of junior status. Chan - Used to address babies, young children, grandparents and teenagers. Can also be used to address lovers, close friends and animals. Addressing a superior with this honorific is considered as insulting. Sensei / Hakase - Refers to teachers, doctors, politicians, lawyers and other authority figures. Used to address people who have mastered an art form or something of the likes, such as novelists, musicians and martial artists. Hakase would be utilized when addressing a person with high academic achievements, such as doctors. ii - Bowing Bowing is the main form of paying respects in Japan. For men it is standard to hold their hands by their sides as they bow, whereas women are to hold their hands in their laps as they bow, eyes facing the floor. The longer and deeper the bow is, the stronger the respect is conveyed. A superior would usually greet his inferior with a simple nod of their head, while the inferior would offer him a respectful bow. Bows which are used to express apologies and regret are deeper and last longer. The acts used to perform these are usually "Dogeza" and "Sujud". iii - Table Etiquette Oshibori (Wet towels) are used to clean your hands before eating. After receiving your meal, it's normal to start the feast with the phrase "itadakimasu" which literally translates to "I gratefully receive". If you received your dish before the others have and would like to start then the phrases 'osaki ni dōzo" (Please go ahead) or "Osaki ni itadakimasu" (Allow me to start before you). Drinking usually starts once everyone at the table has a drink and the glasses are raised for a toast, which is "Kampai". When drinking, it is standard to serve eachother rather than pouring your own drink. -It is good manner to return your dishes to how they were at the start. -Blowing your nose, munching and burping is considered bad manners. -Emptying your plate to the last grain of rice is considered polite. -Sticking your chop-sticks into the dish or rubbing them together is considered impolite. -Lift your bowl off the table. -Use both hands to server alcohol to somebody you're meeting for the first time. iv - General Etiquette Blowing your nose in public is considered as rude. Sniffing is an alternative. When sneezing, excuse yourself to a bathroom. If you're not permitted to then cover your mouth with your palm during the sneeze. Being invited into somebody's apartment or house is considered as an honor. Shoes are to be taken off at the door. Speaking loudly in public places is frowned upon. v - Greetings and Phrases Ohayō gozaimasu - Formal way to say "Good morning". "Ohayou" is informal and can be used between friends. Konnichiwa - "Good day" or "Good afternoon" Konbanwa - "Good evening" Oyasumi nasai - "Good night" --- Domo arigatou - "Thank you." - use this when speaking with friends or co-workers. Arigatou - Informal way of saying "Thank you". Use it with friends and family members. Dom - More polite version of 'Arigatou'. Still considered rude when said to a superior. Arigatou gozaimasu - The most polite and formal way of expressing gratitude to someone. Onegai shimasu - Please, but very polite. Sumimasen - Excuse me, but very polite. --- Oi - "Hey". Nani yattenda - "What the fuck are you doing?!" Oi boke/boge - "Oi, shithead!" Kuso - "Shit / crappy." Hai - "Yes." Ie - "No." Manko - "Pussy." Chinko - "Dick." Souka / Sou deska - "I see." Kono baka yarou - "This fucking idiot." Tsuki-des / Dai tsuki desi - "I love you / I like you" within a romantic context. Kimi / Anata / Anta / Omae - Various ways of saying "You". Shine - "Go die." vi - Yakuza Yubitome - A Japanese ritual to atone for offenses or a way to be punished by means of cutting off portions of one's little finger. In Kendo, the little finger's grip is the tightest on the hilt. A swordman with no little finger was unable to grip his sword properly, which in turn made him more dependent on the protection of his boss. To perform Yubitome, one must lay down a small piece of cloth and lay their hand onto the cloth facing down. Using a tantō, the person cuts off the portion of their finger above the top knuckle. They then wrap the severed portion of their pinky in the cloth and present it to their Oyabun (Boss) or Kumicho (Patriarch of the family). If more offenses are committed, then the next joints of the little finger will be submitted to amputation. In some cases, portions of the right little finger can be removed if there is no remaining joints left to be cut off on the left little finger. Sometimes a person expelled from the Yakuza has to perform a ritual which involves Yubitome.