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Japanese women are often covering their mouth

Understanding Japanese women


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Compared to the loud, wide open laughter of most Western women, Japanese women prefer to hide their amusement in polite company.

This is accomplished by covering their mouths with their hand when laughing.

In ancient Japan, showing the inside of your mouth was considered bad manners, so Japanese women hid their mouth with their kimono sleeve or their hand. This was regarded as an act of courtesy that reflected refinement, and it still is today.

While this is common and considered very polite in Japan, to foreigners, it can be a source of confusion that may be taken the wrong way. Often they feel that covering their mouth when laughing is a sign of immaturity on the part of Japanese women. Some foreigners, at first, considers this behavior as a sign of insincerity. Nothing could be further from the truth.

If your date covers her mouth when laughing, don't think she is mocking you or showing signs of immaturity or disrespect; she is using that gesture in a very polite, respectful and elegant way.

PS: Because it is considered rude for women to open their mouth wide, you will also see your Japanese date covering her mouth when eating. Don't be surprised.