Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Japanese Business Cards



In Japan, meishi 名刺 (business cards) are very important, and the exchange is more ritualistic and formal than other places in the world. The vast majority of Japanese people own a business card, relating to their company or work, and sometimes on a personal instance.

Meishi are presented and exchanged upon meeting new business acquaintances. They should be kept in a case, to avoid damage, as it would show a sign of thoughtlessness. When presenting a card, it should be held with both hands, while giving a brief introduction of your name and affiliation.

When receiving meishi, you should also use both hands, and never cover the name on the card. You are then expected to read the card over, then thank the person, and bow. You should then file the meishi in your case, or if you're sitting a table having a meeting, the card should be placed on top of your case, or on the table in front of you if you have received several meishi.

Those etiquette guidelines all sound so simple and obvious when you have lived in Japan for a bit, but it can get confusing when it's your first time. The way I explained it is very straightforward, but it goes beyond that, as the rank of the presenter plays a big part in where the card should be placed on the table and such. When following etiquette, it's best to stick to the simple guidelines and not get too stressed out.

I had some fun, blog-related mini meishi made by Moo, a great card design company Sophia recommended. They may not look very professional but they're well, very cute and playful.




9 comments:

artslondonblog said...

My problem with business cards is that in the UK, only knobs actually use them on a voluntary basis, so I instinctively don't want to feel respectful towards them. At the same time, I know it's different here and I ought to adapt. Japan-crisis...

Michi said...

This makes me want to get my own business cards! Half the fun, of course, would be designing them. :)

Kaleidoscope Acres said...

When I took a travel and tourism class and we were learning about Japan this is one of the things we learned. That being that Business Cards are extremely important and when you take it you need to respect it and should have one to exchange, even if it is just for your name and profession if you do not have a business. I was not aware of the name for them. I think I would have fun designing a business card for myself. Mine would either have cats or horses..hmm no wait, I think they eat horses there, so my business card would have cats.
Great blog, enjoyed.

Vivian said...

artslondon- get them!!! at least it can be something to take back home as a souvenir, if anything!

Michi- do it!! i wish my skills were better at designing, maybe next time i'll try, you can actually design them yourself on that site.

Kaleidoscope- thank you! indeed, horse is eaten in Japan, so cats may be the better option ;)

Jordan said...

I wish I knew this before receiving a business card from a Japanese film maker living in Paris... I would have been a lot more appreciative! He even let me choose from five different designs. Thanks for the tips Vivian!

Michi said...

P.S. I've tagged you in a "getting to know you" blogger series, if you'd like to take part. I hope you're having a splendid Spring weekend in Tokyo! :)
http://iheartmondegreens.com/2012/04/28/getting-to-know-you/

rebecca said...

Hey I only just found your blog, but its pretty freaking awesome. I'm going to study in Japan the end of this year (for a year in the Osaka area) but I wanna venture out to Tokyo, could you recommend me some places that I shouldn't miss out on? Thanks! Becky x

Vivian said...

Jordan- thanks for your kind comment! glad some of my tips come in handy!! hope all is well in paris xx

Michi- thanks!!!!! this is a fun post, I'll do it!!!

Rebecca- many many thanks! i left a comment on your blog ;)

Waseem said...

Like the idea..i wish to use all these if have a problem in designing Metal business cards.