Honne and Tatemae - Knowing the two faces

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Have you heard of those two words? Honne (本音) and Tatemae (建前) they are expressions whose literal meanings would be, respectively, "true sound" and "facade".

And where does this apply in the life of the Japanese? Well, that is, practically, the life of the Japanese in general when they are going to interact with others.

Honne and Tatemae are basically tags that Japanese people use when talking to other people.


Depending on who the interlocutor is, the Japanese will use Honne or Tatemae.

Honne, as mentioned before, means “true sound” in the literal translation and it is basically when the person expresses his true opinions in front of a person, without speaking. The equivalent here in Brazil would be the famous “straight talk”.

Tatemae, literally means “facade” and is the complete opposite of Honne. Tatemae is basically hiding your own opinions in order to please a person who is of some importance or relevance or to avoid conflict situations.

Honne e tatemae - conhecendo as duas faces


In Japanese culture, it is important to preserve peace and avoid verbal or physical conflicts as much as possible and the Japanese do everything they can to avoid any bullshit, even if they have to lie and pretend to agree with the person they argue with.

Influence and pressure from society

It is already known that Japanese society, in certain aspects, works under pressure and it is also important to maintain appearances in order to fit in with the demands imposed by it.

Some, for not being able to accept the pressure, end up becoming isolated from society as a hikikomori.


Tatemae is important in Japanese society. Emitting sincerity, which often goes against what society takes for granted, you end up standing out in a negative way and, as the saying goes, “nails that stand out, get hammered”.

Highlight is not something that the Japanese usually appreciate.

Honne e tatemae - conhecendo as duas faces


O Honne it is only used when the person is with relatives or close friends and the person needs to vent.

The Japanese, in general, have a habit of not commenting on their own problems in order not to worry or bother.

But, we all know that nobody has an icy heart, and there comes a time when we need to vent.

One of the most common moments for them to express themselves is during festivities like bonenkai and shinnenkai, and sometimes even in a simple nomikai.

ANDHonne and Tatemae stereotypes

Whoever gives that read about how Japanese society works, one tends to think that the Japanese is a fake and a liar who has blood from cockroaches.

Without understanding the reasons, a stereotype is created that the Japanese are people who will never speak to you in front of you but will speak to you behind your back.

Honne e tatemae - conhecendo as duas faces

The problem is that Honne and Tatemae they are not general rules, there are Japanese people who care little and say whatever they want.


And this story that “JP td fake BR melior HUAEUAHEUHAEHUAEHUE”Is a huge generalization. Many follow this culture thinking about the next, to avoid causing problems.

Honne and Tatemae's culture can be harmful, as some end up not expressing their own opinions and accepting those of others.

It is a pleasant thing to think about others, but we need a space to fulfill our own desires and opinions.

To get a sense, some Japanese learn the English language just to vent with a gaijin, because they know that foreigners don't have this culture of faking an opinion to please everyone.

What do you think of the culture of Honne and Tatemae? It can be useful at times, but using it too much can cause many social problems that Japanese people already face. We look forward to your sincere comments (Honne) and shares, thanks xD