Business Cards in Japan

Business Cards in Japan

Business Cards

These are extremely important. No respectable business person can work without one in Japan. They give the owner identity. No matter how capable a person maybe, without a business card they will be dismissed as of little importance. Business men often have 2 cards, a company one and a personal one; if you are given both, count yourself as being complimented.

Cards have a standard size 90 x 55 mill and it is increasingly common for Japanese businessmen to have an English version on the reverse side. Our cards have English on one side and Japanese on the other.

Do’s and Don’t’s for Meishi (May She) Business Cards.

Try to offer and receive cards with both hands – it’s more polite, right handed is fine.
Give a long look at a card when you receive it, study it carefully – it shows you are paying respect to the other person. You can learn more about it on

Do not forget the name of the person or his job title and get the card out of your wallet to re-check. It’s better to keep it in front of you on the table throughout a meeting.

Never write on a person’s name card in front of them. Do it afterwards and record when and where you met them. It always impresses when meet them again and can refer back to your last meeting.
Never ever stuff a card into your back trouser pocket. It s very insulting. Try to get hold of a card wallet and keep your own cards there as well as those you receive.

Never leave cards behind, drop them on the floor or throw them in the bin. All are insulting. Be generous with your cards, give them away to all the business contacts you meet. The Japanese keep them a long time. If in doubt give a card. Nowhere is the wrong place to present a card. Give it on first meeting, do not wait.

Try to work out the most important person and give them a card first.
Bowing slightly when presenting a business card is also normal. Let the Japanese person take the lead in offering a handshake.

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