The Matter Surrounding The Hug in Japan

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Jul 23, 2016 01:17
In many countries, people hug with not only their lover, their spouse, or their children, but also with friends for greeting—moreover in public. And in some countries, people kiss to others, even if they meet for the first time. Probably, most of Japanese know the fact through TV dramas, movies and so on. However, Japanese do not so in Japan. We just wave our hands or bow.

It was three years ago. I guided a woman from Germany through the Kyoto-city. At the end, she hugged me with gratitude. At the time I became completely like a stone albeit I knew the fact above. It was totally natural, reflexive action to me because she hugged me tighter than I had expected.

One years later, I was in a city in Germany. I met many people. And I made friends with some of them. When I had to move to other city and to say goodbye, a friend said to me, “I know Japanese do not hug, but I want to hug you. Is it okay?” Then, he hugged me with his one hand and the hand was a bit hovering. I felt somewhat sad because he hugged me more loosely than I had expected and he hugged the others more natural and more familiar.

I moved to other city in Germany. I decided to hug others voluntarily now. I hugged new friends when I saw them or when I said see you as if being European!! haha

Today, I saw a friend in Kyoto. She is a Ph.D. student from Germany. She knows Japanese do not hug. She gave me a significant information and a good book. I was glad, so that suddenly I hugged her unconsciously. She stepped back sharply because of surprising. She said me, “I had not expected Japanese hugged me.”

Thank you for reading.
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