5 Types of Gifts You Should Never Give in Japan

  • Who don’t like a gift? When you have your birthday, of course you want some gifts from your friend. In Japan, anything is not allowed to be given. What it means then. It means that there are some believes that it is impolite to give such kind these things.

    1. First of all, some items prominently displaying the numbers 4 and 9 should not be given as a gift. The reason is because the reading of 4 in Japanese is “shi” from the word “shinu” which means death, and the reading of 9 in Japanese is “ku” from the word “kurushi” which means suffering.

    Impolite gift 1

    Author’s photo

    2. Because of “ku” means suffering, and “shi” means death in Japanese, it is also not allowed to give a comb to anybody. Comb in Japanese is called “kushi”, so the meaning of giving a comb to Japanese people is “you will be suffering and died”. Please notice not to never give a comb as a gift to Japan.

    3. The other things that should not be given to Japanese people are clocks, scissors, and knives, which are th symbol of time running out and cutting the relationship respectively.

    4. It is also impolite to give lilies, lotus blossoms, and camellias, because of they are associated with funerals. White flowers of any kind should be avoided. There is also a superstition that potted plants encourage sickness. Although it is quote common to bring a flower when you see somebody in hospital, please notice not to bring such as white flower and potted flower. It is because of the bad meaning about those things.

    Impolite gift 3

    5. Red Christmas cards also should be avoided, since funeral notice are customarily printed in this color.


    Those are the things that should be avoided as a gift when you want to give to your friends at Japan.