Having been to more than 20 countries and with a love of theatre, he’s come across various superstitions when it comes to gift giving.
Disclaimer: “A Quick Guide: Gift Giving in Japan – Dos and Don’ts” is a guest post and any information and opinion is provided by Adam.
It’s very common to present a gift with the words “Tsumaranai mono desu ga …” (つまらないものですが・・・, lit.: It’s something boring, but please accept it …).
It just shows that the relationship is more important than the present itself.
If you’re visiting your host family, then anything that’s typical for your region / country (especially if it’s edible) is the best choice.
These kind of presents are exchanged among teachers, students, coworkers and business partners.
You are expected to reciprocate if someone gives you one.
If you have to send a gift never involve the numbers 4, 9 and 43 (e.g. To be on the save side, better avoid anything that has a “4” or “9” in it.
;) Now that you know what numbers to avoid, there are some things you can use to help add more meaning to your gift by using specific animals on the wrapping paper or on the actual gift itself.