Business Card Etiquette In Japan

Danny Choo is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. Danny resides in Tokyo, and blogs about life in Japan and Japanese subculture – he also works part time for the empire.


So, you've been getting along well with your new Japanese business client but suddenly get told that they are not interested in doing business with you after meeting them on your arrival in Japan.

Well it could have been due to many a reason. One of the reasons could be that you started to eye up your clients lover secretary. It could also have been because you stepped in poo and didn't wipe off before leaving steaming skid marks all over your clients office carpet. Another reason could be because you slipped and stabbed a pencil in your clients left knee.

The most likely reason however is because you didn't hand over your business card properly and to do business in the land of the rising sun, you just need to know how this is done. Luckily, there is being a tutorial floating around the Tubes which you can see below.

Do also remember that you need to learn how to bow properly too – this flash tutorial (click on the thumbs at the bottom) will help you – I've seen people bow down to 90 degrees but 45 degrees for gratitude and apologies is acceptable. The photo is a collection of some business cards collected during my work in Japan – see more designs of Japanese business cards in my previous "Meishi" article.