Comparison between Japanese Tipping Customs, Kokorodzuke, and Western Tipping Customs: Japanese Cultural Uniqueness Making Foreign Tourists Confused


Our research topic is a discovery of Japanese cultures uniqueness making foreign travelers get confused from tipping customs' differences between Japan and western countries. Most people think that there is no tipping custom in Japan, and this is correct in most situations. Therefore, many foreign tourists can enjoy Japan without worrying about tipping. However, there has been some specific situations that require people to tip. Staying in luxury ryokans, Japanese traditional style hotels having attracted foreign tourists to Japan, is one of the most significant situations that people customarily tip. This is the Japanese untold tipping custom, kokorodzuke. Surprisingly, there is no efficient definition of kokorodzuke; therefore, we conducted textmining to Q&As related to kokorodzuke on Yahoo chiebukuro (Yahoo Answers). As a result, many Japanese people get confused by this custom when they are going to stay ryokans. From this result, we make two important hypotheses. The first one is that foreign tourists must get confused about kokorodzuke as well as the Japanese, and they might have some bad experiences because of the ignorance of this custom during their staying. The Second one is that the root cause of the reason why foreign tourists feel uncomfortable in Japan is from Japanese traditional untold cultures. To stimulate Japanese economics, Japanese people engaging in doing business with foreign tourists should understand that Japanese culture's uniqueness sometimes makes a big barrier between the Japanese and foreigners to prevent from mutual understandings. The theme will be discussed from a viewpoint of marketing.

Author Information
Yuriko Yano, Gakushuin University, Japan
Yukari Shirota, Gakushuin University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2017
Stream: Cultural Studies

This paper is part of the ACCS2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon