Greeting a Japanesse Hostess

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New Member
American English
I am meeting the elderly adoptive mother of a good friend for Christmas, this lady is Japaneses by birth how do I greet her verbally and what type gift is appropriate? Any other proper customs I should know about?
  • matsuyama

    Francais- France
    Hmmm First of all, you may introduce yourself as it will be the fist time you meet her.

    So while bowing " Hajimemashite, (name) desu. Yoroshiku onegai itashimasu" I use to bow twice, one time when saying the first sentece, and a second time at the end of the second sentence.

    Then for the gift, I don't know but a good bottle of wine, tasty chocolate, or flowers are quite good I think. It depends on the age of the lady, and also the purpose of the gilft. A book, is also a good idea. Then when you give to the Lady the present, you may say, if you want to seem very polite " Tsumaranai mono desu ga..." presenting the gift with BOTH hands.

    When leaving, (if it is the house of the lady), " kyo ha iroiro o sewa ni narimashite, makoto ni arigatou gozaimasu" while bowing.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    How about not-businesslike handshake? Weird?

    Google says a taboo gift is Japanese tea leaf, because we gift people it for funeral (Yes exactly). Handkerchief isn't very good either.


    Senior Member
    I'm a Japanese, and I rarely see Japanese people shaking hands when meeting for the first time or while saying goodbye. I shook hands all the time when I was in the States, but I never do that here, at work or personally.

    I think a deep bow when you introduce yourself would look nice and cute, especially if you're non-Japanese. But despite all the complicated phrases that people gave here, my general advice would be: as long as you know some real basic Japanese greetings, just be polite and show you're happy to see her, and that's really enough...
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