Communication gestures from Japan

In today's article we are going to talk about Japan's bodily gestures that are made by hand or otherwise that have meaning and serve for communication.

Gestures in Japan can be quite different from gestures used in Brazil. It is important to learn so that you don't mistake a gesture as an insult or something obscene.

Gestures can also help you communicate if you have difficulty with language. In this article, we will present most of the gestures and their meanings.

It is difficult to write an article on gestures. It is better to see in practice with the video of our friend Santana below:

I hope you enjoyed the video, but it's not over yet. We have many other gestures below:

Hand Gestures

Can't - dame - Crossing your arms means something negative, forbidden, something you cannot.

No - iie - Waving your right hand in front of your face can mean not or something negative. Similar to a gesture used to say something stinks.

I - watashi - Japanese people often put their fingers on their noses to refer to themselves. Nowadays it is common to point to the chest as in the West.

You - anata - We use the palm facing upwards to point a person.


Come here - kotchi ni oide - The Japanese use the traditional hand call, but put it on the underside.

Calm down! - ochi tsuite - With both palms down, swing your hands up and down to calm someone down.

Money - okane - Make a circle using your index finger and thumb. In Brazil this is offensive.

Wait - chotto matte - As if it were a stop! Using the palms of your hand forward you are talking for a person to wait a while.

Ok - daijobu desu - Just like the money gesture, only with the palm of the hand in front.


In addition there are several other gestures such as joining the little finger to make a promise, kneeling to apologize, joining hands to say itadakimasu, in addition to the famous bow.

We wrote an article talking about the occasions to bow, we recommend reading the article clicking here. I hope you enjoyed this article! The images were taken from the book “70 Japanese Gestures” we recommend taking a look.

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