Have you ever heard of the terms „honne“ and „tatemae“?
You might be familiar with the social phenomenon existing in many Asian countries that it is extremely important to „keep your face“ when interacting with others. This includes being kind and modest and not showing extreme signs of affections, but it can also mean holding back your opinions and feelings in order to maintain group harmony. In Japan, „honne“ refers to your true feelings and beliefs while „tatemae“ is the face you show to the public. It is crucial to know about this before you come to Japan – also because it is sometimes very difficult to tell them both apart.