tatemae

Three Historical Reasons Why The Japanese Hesitate to Say What They Think

Do you have a Japanese friend? If so, how close are you? Generally, Japanese do not like to reveal their “honne”(true feelings) and therefore building close relationships is said to be difficult. One of the suggested reasons is because the Japanese respect cooperation so deeply self-assertion and expressing one’s feelings becomes challenging. We’ll try to…

3 Concepts of Japanese Social Etiquette

1. Honne and Tatemae Literally translated as “true voice” and “constructed façade”, honne is the private face that is only shown to confidantes, and tatemae is the public face that is shown to the rest of the world, that conforms to socially accepted behaviors and norms. The concept of “face” that is more prevalent in…

The Japanese Art of Indirectness: Honne and Tatemae

Honne and Tatemae Honne 本音 & Tatemae 建前, literally translated as “true voice” and “constructed facade”, is the mindset that Japanese people are trained since young to master. An honest display of one’s true emotions and intentions is frowned upon and seen as willful and childish. Many Japanese would never express their “honne”, or at…