Japan is a country that prides itself in its deep connections to its cultural heritage. Gift giving is an important part of Japan’s formal obligation. Its is a tacit understanding that if someone gives you a gift you much return the favor with a gift of your own.
It is common practice to bring gifts with you whenever you go on business trips as the other party are almost always sure to give you something when you arrive or leave. Its also better to be prepared if they present you with a surprise gift so you will be able to return their kindness there and then.
The meaning behind Japan’s gift giving is the thought of giving someone a gift to make them happy instead of the actual gift having meaning. Therefore an expensive gift will not be seen as a bribe.
When should you give a gift? You should give the gift near the end of a visit. You should give the gift with both hands to show you’re giving them a gift with all your feelings and gratitude.
Since people often give each other things and there is a need to return the favor, there are often gifting cycles. One example of this is when a neighbor gives you some food and you have to return the plate. However, it is considered rude to return an empty plate so you have to return it with food of your own. and Thus since you gave them something they have to give you something back.
“International Gift Giving Etiquette – Japan.” International Gift Giving Etiquette – Japan. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.