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Japanese Body language and Use of silence

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4eme Dan
4eme Dan

Inscrit le: 07 Juil 2004
Pays, Ville: Kyoto

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Japanese Body language and Use of silence
Note du Post : 4.6   Nombre d'avis : 5

To all the Japan lovers, I'd like to introduce Robert Louis Seltman’s articles, essays and blogs

I recommand his Master Thesis
Japanese Body Language in the Classroom (1991)

see the TABLE OF CONTENTS below.




Non-Verbal Communication in the Classroom
by Robert L. Seltman

-1. ‘Come here’ (Chotto...oide)
-2. ‘Good-bye’
-3. No
-4. ‘Excuse me’ (Sumimasen)
-5. Writing Kanji (Chinese Characters)
-6. Peace/Victory Sign
-7. Jan-Ken (Choosing)
-8. Counting
-9. Indicating numbers
-10. "Something smells" (Kusai!)
-11. Oni (goblin)
-12. "Let's go eat."
-13. Laying it on Thick
-14. Money
-15. Pa! (Coo-Coo!, Crazy!)
-16. Tengu (Long-nosed goblin)
-17. Clashing Swords
-18. Let's go for a drink/We went drinking
-19. Sushi
-20. Promise
-21. Father Figure
-22. Woman
-23. To steal
-24. Pregnancy

2 - THE USE OF THE FACE Facial Expressions

1. "Me?" ("Boku?" or "Watashi?")
2. Head frozen, using the eyes.
3. The Uses of the Smile
4. "Something smells" (Kusai-zo)
5. "That's difficult to believe"
6. "Let's not discuss that here"


Body Gestures

1. Pratfalls, theatrical slips and comical side steps
- The "Whoops! How Embarrassing! I made a mistake"
- The "Baka! (You Fool!)" head slap
2. Where and when to sit
3. Listening with eyes closed, dozing
4. How close is too close?

5. Bimbo Usuri (poor people's shaking)
6. Folded Arms
7. Sitting with legs spread
8. Receiving and giving
9. Ojigi (Bowing from the waist)
10. Unconscious bowing
11. Sitting on desks, Standing on chairs
12. O’s and X’s
13. Hands in your pants pockets
15. Rajio taiso (Radio Exercises)

Surprised Silence
Silence as an Expression of Agreement or Disagreement
Silence as an Expression of Femininity
Silence as an Expression of Defiance
Silence in Mixed Classes
Silence as Passive Resistance

Copyright ©1991 by Robert L. Seltman

MAIN WORKS CITED (filtered : Japan)

Barnlund, Dean C. Communicative Styles of Japanese and Americans. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1989.

Christopher, Robert C. The Japanese Mind: The Goliath Explained. New York: Linden Press / Simon & Schuster, 1983.

Doi, Takeo. The Anatomy of Dependence, trans. John Bester, Tokyo: Kodansha, 1973.

Hall, Edward T. and Hall, Mildred Reed. Hidden Differences, Doing Business with the Japanese, New York: An Anchor Book published by Doubleday, 1987.

Halloran, Richard. Japan: Images and Realities. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1969.

Miller, Roy. Japan's Modern Myth, Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1982.

Mishima, Yukio. The Decay of the Angel Translated from the Japanese by Edward G, Seidensticker; Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1974.

Nakane, Chie. Japanese Society. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1970.

Okumura, Shohaku. Shikantaza - an introduction to Zazen, Kyoto, Japan: Kyoto Soto-Zen Center Sosenji, 1984

Reischauer, Edwin O. The Japanese. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1977.

Watts, Brenda. "Student Feedback in Japanese EFL Classes" Unpublished MAT Thesis. School for International Training, Brattleboro, Vt., 1990.

YWCA, The World Fellowship Committee of the Young Women’s Christian Association. Japanese Etiquette, An Introduction, Tokyo, Japan: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1955.


Barthes, Roland. Empire of Signs, Translated by Richard Howard, New York: Hill and Wang, 1982.

Beardsley, Richard K., Hall, John W., and Ward, Robert E. Village Japan, Chicago and London: Phoenix Books, The University of Chicago Press, 1969.

Lebra, Takie Sugiyama. Japanese Patterns of Behavior, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1976.

Lebra, Takie Sugiyama, and Lebra, William P. Japanese Culture and Behavior, Selected Readings, Revised Edition, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986.

Marsh, Peter. Eye to Eye, How People Interact, Tokyo, Macmillan Language House, 1988.

Matsumoto, Michihiro. The Unspoken Way, Haragei: Silence in Japanese Business and Society, Tokyo & New York, Kodansha International, 1989.

Nippon Steel Corporation. Nippon, The Land and its People, Tokyo: Nippon Steel Corporation, 1984.

Nitobe, Inazo, Bushido, The Soul of Japan. Vermont & Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1969.

Sakamoto, Nancy, Naotsuka, Reiko. Polite Fictions, Why Japanese and Americans Seem Rude to Each Other, Tokyo: Kinseido, 1982.

Tsunoda, Tadanobu. The Japanese Brain, Uniqueness and Universality, Translated by Yoshinori Oiwa, Tokyo, Japan: Taishukan Publishing Company, 1985.
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  Répondre en citant   12 Avr 2009 16:26
Ceinture Blanche
Ceinture Blanche

Inscrit le: 27 Jan 2020

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I read your post about body language and the use of silence. Thank you so much for sharing this useful body language with us.
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  Répondre en citant   27 Jan 2020 07:13
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