Business Card Culture

The Japanese have a totally different business card culture than Americans. Business cards are extremely symbolic here. For example, whenever someone comes into the Board of Education for a meeting, they first introduce themselves and present their business card. One of the workers (usually not the one who they’re having a meeting with) takes the card and turns to the intended recipient and introduces them and their purpose for coming (all of this is happening in the same room). Then they come and sit down together and begin the meeting. Sometimes people will come by and put a card on everyone’s desk, especially those that are absent.

I rarely actually know what’s going on around me, but I can tell that business cards are meant to be treated as if they represent the people. They’re handled delicately, usually with two hands at a time. They’re stored in holders or cases, never folded or bent. Most businesses put a map from the nearest main road or station to their place of work as well. And people with rare kanji used for their names include the readings as well.

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