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.