The other day I was asked if hugging is common in Japan.
No. Hugging is not common thing in Japan. I usually don't like to generalize but this is something obvious to us.
Sometimes we do it for fun, and of course we do it with particular meaning and with particular people but we don't hug-greet like people in western countries do. Even with family members it's not so common to hug each other regularly. Let alone kiss-greet. I tried it with my brother just to see how he reacts, and he went "ewwww, stop!" This is not because I'm a bad sister. It's just our custom. (Trust me.)
So be aware of this fact when you try to hug your Japanese friends. If they are not used to your casual hug cultures, they would be surprised or wonder what that means.
I do hug my girlfriends and friends from hug & greet culture, but it took some time and guts to get used to it. At first I was hesitated to give and receive hugs, and then at one point I got used to it but not sure when to do it, and became an excessive hugger. (At peak point I hugged and kissed all the executives after the party.)
So... if you see somewhat maladroit hugger from our country, please be kind.
(Posts transferred from NokoNoko Journal)