Q. There aren’t many occasions in American to exchange business cards, so how are they able to learn to other person’s name?


Americans do not use name cards, meishe, as frequently as Japanese do, so it is important during an introduction to grasp the other person’s name. When the person says to you, “Glad to meet you, Kazuo,” he is showing that he has understood your name and will try to remember it. In you carry on an extended conversation, he may use your name occasionally, or he may wait until you part to say, “It was nice meeting you, Kazuo.” Made an effort to catch names during introductions and you will impress others with how courteous you are.

If you do not catch the other person’s name the first time, it is not impolite to say, “Excuse me, what is your name again?” This is not rude, but actually very courteous, because you are showing that you are interested enough in the person to get his of her name correct.

There is another difference between American and Japanese etiquette. In Japan, after an introducer says, “I’d like you to meet Kazuo Sato,” it is likely that Kazuo will turn and say, “How do you do? I am Kazuo Sato.” This repeating of the name may be proper in Japanese, but it is not necessary and even awkward in American–style etiquette. In a way, it implies that the person who introduced you did not pronounce the name correctly, so it is better to omit this repetition. If the new acquaintance did not catch your name, he or she will ask. Instead, Kazuo can say, “How do you do? I’m very happy to meet you.”