Keigo – Non linguistic elements

Non-linguistic elements can be also considered to express respect as below:

  1. Distance


    • Japanese people keep some distance between superiors and themselves.
      This idea is reflected in the word Anata(あなた), which originally meant
      ‘place far away’, to refer to superiors.Being physically close to any superiors tends to seem too intimate –
      therefore it is unacceptable.
  2. Do things first

    • When Japanese people leave their office, the superior leaves first.
      If a junior has to leave first, they are expected to say “Osaki ni shitsurei shismasu.(お先に失礼します。)”
      Which literally means “Allow me to conduct the impoliteness of leaving ahead of you.When two people enter the room, the junior sits in the chair after his superior sits.
  3. Where to sit


    • In a restaurant, superiors should sit in the kamiza(上座=かみざ),
      which is usually at the top of the table and is also away
      from the entrance/exit where people come and go –
      ie. a place that would disturb the person who sit there.
  4. Wrapping a gift

    • Gift should be wrapped up in noshi-gami(熨斗紙=のしがみ),Keigo_Gift
      which is a specially-made-wrapping paper over the top of ordinary wrapping paper.

What is Keigo?
How Keigo was born
Keigo – Linguistic elements
Handing out and receiving business cards