an incredible ability of the Japanese to be so polite

A Japanese skill is always trying to please people. Obviously we’re generalizing, there are certainly some that are a little rougher. However, when it comes to a business meeting, for example, or even a sale, they always try to be very helpful and try to notice if they are bothering you.

This is a characteristic of the Japanese called Kūki or Yomu which, literally, could be translated as reading the air. But making a parallel with Portuguese, the most appropriate thing is to read between the lines.


So, for most Japanese people it is important to develop this skill so as not to bother anyone. If the person gives signs, for example, that you leave their house while visiting, it is essential for you to understand so as not to bother or to get to the point where they kick you out.

In this way, learn more here about how the Japanese can read the air.


Japanese ability to not disturb

If you want to practice Kūki or Yomu, you must be aware of the situation you are in. For example, it is important to pay attention to the gestures of the person you are talking to.

To read between the lines like a Japanese, you must not only be attentive to your own thoughts and feelings, but also to the people around you – all without needing to express them aloud. It is one of the most significant and fundamental aspects of Japan’s communication culture.

This Japanese custom is not just about social relationships – it also applies to the business context. You are expected to anticipate the consequences of actions and words when interacting with others, as well as realizing your own social status.

This ability to read the air is not a genetic predisposition or something taught in Japanese schools or by parents – it is a social trait. You learn spontaneously as you progress through life, socialize with others, communicate, and most importantly, observe.


It is in the nature of Japanese people to observe their elders and the people around them, imitating what they see.

So this is an important skill to develop in Japanese society – it’s easier for you to make friends, get into a university and get a job. You will be more liked and fit in more easily in the local community.

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And who doesn’t have that skill of the Japanese?

Someone who is not able to understand the real meaning of other people’s words is often called a KY, short for “kūki yomenai” which means “one who cannot read the air”. If you can’t understand the environment you’re in, it can cost you – whether it’s ruining a relationship or ruining a big deal.

Kūki or Yomu” forces you to pay attention to the signals people are giving you, more than usual, and to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

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