Gifting a Japanese person can be a difficult task for many people. After all, this is another culture in which other things can be valued or despised. And that’s what happens with towels.
Certainly, if you were given a towel as a gift, you might think it was too simple or even useless. But for a Japanese this is an extremely useful and practical gift.
So if you have no idea how to gift a Japanese, buy a towel! See here the reasons why they are a great gift.
But why are towels a good gift for a Japanese person?
There’s a good reason to give away towels. Towels are made by weaving yarn, which makes them a good omen for lasting relationships.
With that in mind, towels are also considered a beautiful wedding gift, as they resemble the “Red Thread of Fate” that connects two fated lovers. Money is usually given to newlyweds in Japan rather than material gifts, so a towel set is a nice extra if you want to give them something physical too.
Towels are also used to help with cleaning, so they are associated with the idea of ridding your life of unpleasant or unwanted things. Many also think of towels as the embodiment of “this too shall pass”.
In addition, a towel is also a good choice for the birth of a baby as it represents strong bonds, but it is also just a practical gift.
Some also give towels as a mid-year or end-of-year gift to those who feel indebted for their help. In the line of washing away bad feelings, towels are a popular gift for those hospitalized or as a thank you to someone who visited you in the hospital.
Small towels are also a great gift for a Japanese person.
So far, we’ve only talked about bath towels. But if you want something special to gift to people who have returned from Japan, a big towel that they have to pack in their suitcase doesn’t make much sense. Don’t worry, Japan also has an abundance of smaller, more decorative towels!
But be careful! If you give your boss a small towel, he may not like it.
When gifting small cloths or pieces of fabric that you can wear or carry around, such as a handkerchief, it tends to carry the meaning of “work hard” or “give your best”. Therefore, giving a small towel to your boss or someone above you at work can be considered rude. After all, it can mean that the person is not working as hard as they should. And certainly not a good message to pass on to a boss.
Source: Gaijin Pot