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70 Japanese Gestures: No Language Communication Mass Market Paperback – 1 Oct 2008

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Stonebridge (1 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933330015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933330013
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 990,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Hamiru-aqui is a Japanese artist based in Tokyo. She received the 2001 London International Advertising Award. Aileen Chang is a 3rd-generation Chinese born and raised in Tokyo. Aileen Chang is a 3rd-generation Chinese born and raised in Tokyo.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Oct. 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a gem of a little book and while much will probably continue to be lost in translation for a Westerner visiting Japan, this little book might at least help making some things more understandable.

It contains 70 every day gestures, helping one navigate through Japanese non-verbal communication, which has some gestures similar to those of Occidental cultures but some, which would be interpreted as the exact opposite by Westerners and some, which would just leave them non-plused.

For each gesture there is a picture, a name (in Japanese (various scripts), as well as a phonetic writing), followed by a description of how the gesture is used, and when. This description often offers further explanation, enlightening the one or other aspect of Japanese culture further.

The book will of course not make you blend in completely and it will not help much with learning the language. It is a fun little helper, though and I am sure your Japanese colleagues / business partners / friends will appreciate the effort and your beter understanding of the gestures.
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By Alice Hebdon on 17 Mar. 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutely fine and dandy, although a good chunk of it is stuff that will possibly offend surrounding company if used.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Amazing wealth of knowledge about Japanese culture 13 Dec. 2005
By Lisa Shea - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you're a fan of the Japanese culture, then you know that communication is often full of non-verbal communication - hand gestures, body movements. Here's the way to decipher what those mean!

Written by Hamiru-aqui and translated by Aileen Chang, this brilliant book contains photos of a Japanese person doing the gesture, the name of the gesture and its full history. This is invaluable whether you read manga, watch anime, or enjoy any sort of Japanese cinema.

For example, what does it mean when a Japanese person puts a pair of fists in front of their nose, making their nose look longer? Does it mean they're telling a lie, like in Pinnochio? Hardly! It's actually representing a tengu, or Japanese demon. Tengu were known as being very conceited, so this hand gesture means you think the person you're referring to is an overly-proud person.

The book is full of not only standard hand symbols but also swears and 'dangerous hand movements', ranked by intensity. There are some hand movements you definitely do NOT want to do to a Japanese person - but you might not even realize it!

It's like the middle finger in American / British culture. That middle finger movement has a long history and immediately means something to us. To other cultures, it might not mean anything at all. Just as when we see a middle finger stuck at us we get an instant reaction, so do the Japanese get instant reactions to certain hand gestures and body movements.

This book is the key to deciphering what those movements mean, so that your enjoyment of the Japanese culture is even more complete!

Highly recommended, and very entertaining!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A GREAT guide to help avoid misunderstandings... 7 Feb. 2011
By Jackie-the-Greyhound - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fun little book with pictures showing many common (and some not-so-common) Japanese gestures. So much can be conveyed by non-verbal communication, and while language books and cultural guides are invaluable, so is this!

The way people gesture to say 'come here', 'I agree', or 'you' for example are not exactly what westerners are used to and could easily be misinterpreted. Some gestures are purely Japanese as well.

The gestures are introduced by showing a picture of the motion in question, with swishy/brush marks to indicate direction of movement. I have to admit I am more of a visual learner, but for that to work I have to see the actual movements. The pictures come close but for a couple I do remain stumped (and plan on picking the brains of some co-workers to clear up). The pictures are also accompanied by a brief description that explains the motion, the meaning and the context used.

I think looking this over prior to a visit, then keeping it handy during a visit would be the best use--I really got the picture (so to speak) much more clearly for having seen so many of the gestures in action.

Also of note, the book was written by a Japanese individual and translated. I was eating dinner with my family last night and reading through the book with them, and our Japanese waitress was fascinated and started reading it with us. We wrote down the title/author for her (yay for Amazon.co.jp)! In any case she loved it and thought it was great we were reading it.

To sum up...a great book to supplement other pre-travel reading and learning and one that is very useful after arrival as well. Highly Recommended!

JTG

Oh, and the author recommended looking at manga and old films (such as Kurasawa's) because often they use a lot of gestures instead of words. This will give practice in learning the gestures, and conversely, the book will help you understand the films better I imagine too...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Hilarious...and helpful 12 July 2007
By A. Lindhorst - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was funny and insightful. It makes visitors to Japan aware that much can be said through a gesture and great offense or insult as well. It's always a good idea to research any country that you are going to visit and this book brings the reader one step closer to avoiding potentially sticky situations.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Hysterical! 22 Mar. 2008
By E. Mohat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is hilarious and at the same time informative! Who knew learning could be so entertaining? It has a lot of fun insights into different aspects of Japanese culture. I only wish the book was longer and went more in-depth.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Short, Sweet, Fun but maybe not 100% accurate 30 Nov. 2013
By Unknown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Short, sweet and funny. Great quick read but don't recommend giving the book too much weight. Found it only marginally helpful during my trips to Japan.
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