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70 Japanese Gestures: No Language Communication Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Stone Bridge Press (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933330015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933330013
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hamiru-aqui is a Japanese artist based in Tokyo. She received the 2001 London International Advertising Award. Aileen Chang is a 3rd-generation Chinese born and raised in Tokyo. Aileen Chang is a 3rd-generation Chinese born and raised in Tokyo.

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Customer Reviews

This book was funny and insightful.
A. Lindhorst
It helped me to have a better understanding of Japanese language and culture.
Nova Fuquay
This book gives you exactly what it promises.
vince

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Shea HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 13, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you're a fan of the Japanese culture, then you know that communication is often full of non-verbal communication - hand gestures, body movements. Here's the way to decipher what those mean!

Written by Hamiru-aqui and translated by Aileen Chang, this brilliant book contains photos of a Japanese person doing the gesture, the name of the gesture and its full history. This is invaluable whether you read manga, watch anime, or enjoy any sort of Japanese cinema.

For example, what does it mean when a Japanese person puts a pair of fists in front of their nose, making their nose look longer? Does it mean they're telling a lie, like in Pinnochio? Hardly! It's actually representing a tengu, or Japanese demon. Tengu were known as being very conceited, so this hand gesture means you think the person you're referring to is an overly-proud person.

The book is full of not only standard hand symbols but also swears and 'dangerous hand movements', ranked by intensity. There are some hand movements you definitely do NOT want to do to a Japanese person - but you might not even realize it!

It's like the middle finger in American / British culture. That middle finger movement has a long history and immediately means something to us. To other cultures, it might not mean anything at all. Just as when we see a middle finger stuck at us we get an instant reaction, so do the Japanese get instant reactions to certain hand gestures and body movements.

This book is the key to deciphering what those movements mean, so that your enjoyment of the Japanese culture is even more complete!

Highly recommended, and very entertaining!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jackie-the-Greyhound TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 6, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fun little book with pictures showing many common (and some not-so-common) Japanese gestures. So much can be conveyed by non-verbal communication, and while language books and cultural guides are invaluable, so is this!

The way people gesture to say 'come here', 'I agree', or 'you' for example are not exactly what westerners are used to and could easily be misinterpreted. Some gestures are purely Japanese as well.

The gestures are introduced by showing a picture of the motion in question, with swishy/brush marks to indicate direction of movement. I have to admit I am more of a visual learner, but for that to work I have to see the actual movements. The pictures come close but for a couple I do remain stumped (and plan on picking the brains of some co-workers to clear up). The pictures are also accompanied by a brief description that explains the motion, the meaning and the context used.

I think looking this over prior to a visit, then keeping it handy during a visit would be the best use--I really got the picture (so to speak) much more clearly for having seen so many of the gestures in action.

Also of note, the book was written by a Japanese individual and translated. I was eating dinner with my family last night and reading through the book with them, and our Japanese waitress was fascinated and started reading it with us. We wrote down the title/author for her (yay for Amazon.co.jp)! In any case she loved it and thought it was great we were reading it.

To sum up...a great book to supplement other pre-travel reading and learning and one that is very useful after arrival as well. Highly Recommended!

JTG

Oh, and the author recommended looking at manga and old films (such as Kurasawa's) because often they use a lot of gestures instead of words. This will give practice in learning the gestures, and conversely, the book will help you understand the films better I imagine too...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Lindhorst on July 12, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was funny and insightful. It makes visitors to Japan aware that much can be said through a gesture and great offense or insult as well. It's always a good idea to research any country that you are going to visit and this book brings the reader one step closer to avoiding potentially sticky situations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nova Fuquay on February 11, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Though I have taken two semesters of Japanese language classes, and have supplemented these studies myself, no one ever taught me about these nonverbal gestures. I recognized plenty of them from Japanese films and anime, however, I had never discearned thier meanings myself. This book was very entertaining and informative. It helped me to have a better understanding of Japanese language and culture. Now, when I see these gestures being done in Japanese films, I understand why they are making them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Mohat on March 22, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is hilarious and at the same time informative! Who knew learning could be so entertaining? It has a lot of fun insights into different aspects of Japanese culture. I only wish the book was longer and went more in-depth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Unknown on November 30, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Short, sweet and funny. Great quick read but don't recommend giving the book too much weight. Found it only marginally helpful during my trips to Japan.
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Honestly, I didn't have that high expectations when I got it and picked it up to read it. The pictures are strange, with the face blurred out. One or two of the gestures it's hard to tell what they're doing exactly. Still, this book is filled with humor and it was worth the read. It shows different versions of the gestures, and how to make the gestures have different meanings or be more offensive. It also tells you if it used by someone older or younger, male or female, and when to/not to use it. They have a little description of the model at the back of the book, and that to me was neat. But the book has a paragraph with each picture, and the word is written in both romaji and kana, which is nice. I thought it was quite funny and even interesting. Definitely borrow it from a friend or buy it used, because it is short! I enjoyed it quite a bit.
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