Bad table manners in others that Japanese cannot abide

goo Ranking recently published a survey looking at which bad table manners in other people just cannot stand.


The survey was conducted from the 24th to the 27th of December 2013, and 1,076 people completed a private web-based questionnaire. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

Here’s a random foreigner doing a number 10 and perhaps 20 too, as the middle finger looks a bit out of alignment.

Pretty much all of them annoy me to a certain exten; on the other hand, I can also be guilty of 3, 4, both 12s, and 17, although since 17 is a no-no in the west, it’s a difficult habit to break.

Chivalry Japanese women would not appreciate

To most (I hope…) Western men Ladies First and other chivalrous acts come as second nature, but in Japan what we take for granted is unusual or indeed embarassing behaviour for women to experience. This problematic chivalry was the subject of a recent survey by goo Ranking.


Over the 19th and 20th of January 2011 1,084 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 60.2% of the sample were female, 8.5% in their teens, 18.5% in their twenties, 31.9% in their thirties, 23.2% in their forties, 9.5% in their fifties, and 8.5% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample. This survey was for the women only.

I’m not sure of the correct etiquette for retrieving a soggy hankie – perhaps one should offer to wash it, but in the modern world I don’t think that would be acceptable. Number two is a strange one – accompanying text suggested that the blowing noise (as opposed to the slurping noise?) would be unacceptable, but blowing on your food is a no-no. However, again I’m not sure of the correct action in that circumstances.

Butts out of car windows are worst driving manners in Japan

Women, are you skilful drivers? graph of japanese statisticsIf there’s one thing Japanese drivers hate, it’s fags and other rubbish being tossed out of car windows, according to this survey from iShare into driving manners.

You’ll notice that there are a couple of questions regarding insurance. This is because the survey was conducted in conjunction with American Home and their car insurance arm, American Home Direct.


On the 6th of September 2010 1,067 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-base questionnaire. All of the respondents had free use of a car that they drove at least once a week. 85.0% of the sample were male, 3.0% in their twenties, 38.5% in their thirties, 44.0% in their forties, and 14.5% in their fifties.

The demographics are quite different from the usual CLUB BBQ ones – the male:female split is usually closer to 50:50, and the twenties age group around 30%, indicating that younger and female ownership of cars is pretty low.

My worst manners in others is poor indicating, although my own driving manners are perfect. People who dangle their hand holding a ciggie out the window irrationally annoy me too. Being driven by someone who doesn’t anticipate is my way of spotting a useless driver.

What new graduates should not do at the office and business manner uncertainty

With the new batch of graduates joining companies this month, here’s a look by goo Ranking at what people want to warn new starts about. In addition, more experienced pople are expected to teach them the ropes, so there’s also look by goo Ranking at what business manners people are not confident they do correctly.


Over the 22nd and 23rd of February 2010 1,123 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 58.6% of the sample were female, 9.6% in their teens, 22.2% in their twenties, 32.1% in their thirties, 24.9% in their forties, 7.5% in their fifties, and 3.8% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

Seating order is an important topic – in a Japanese room the most senior sits opposite the door, so that when the ninja come it’s just the plebs that get chopped up. However, there’s different rules for where everyone goes depending on whether it’s a round or rectangular table. Seating order on an airplane is a new one on me, and probably a very rare occurance.

Chopstick bad manners in oneself and others

I think foreign residents in Japan actually seem on average to be better users of chopsticks than the Japanese, although I have absolutely no data to back up that claim, nor a similar claim that most foreigners’ chopstick skills outdo Japanese’s cutlery skills. However, there are a multitude of finer points of etiquette regarding these implements that may not be familiar to many of my readers, nor to me for that matter, so to see what faux pas our hosts may be looking out for, or indeed doing themselves, let’s look at a couple of surveys from goo Ranking on bad chopstick habits people have and bad manners in others that they can’t help noticing. Both surveys were conducted between the 20th and 24th of July 2007.

For me, in Q1 I do 1 rarely, 2 a bit with soba, and 5 sometimes. One manner not noted is rubbing the ends of your sticks together to get rid of splinters, which is apparently an insult to the restaurant or host that you think their chopsticks are cheap and splinter-prone.