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Here’s a slightly different post.


I read this morning that in Japan it is considered impolite to fill your own glass.

Something about this has struck me deeply, I love the idea of a point of etiquette being based on the idea that those eating together must be attune to each other’s needs.  I watch for your cup to empty, or get low, and you watch for me.  Together we all get enough to drink. I’m not quite sure how this works when you’re eating (and drinking) alone…maybe you don’t need to be quite so polite when you’re alone.

My goal this week is to move this into my life.  To try to be attentive to those around me – to see where they need what I have to offer.

I know this blog is about art and personal growth…good manners are an art…so there.


Comments on: "Musings on Tea and Japan and Manners and just being aware of other people." (16)

  1. Brilliant idea. Kudos to you for your new, noble goal. Having lived there for 2+ years, I “get it.” Nice post.

  2. Pouring for everyone else first I think is a pretty universal politeness! Whether it’s alcohol or tea.

  3. freddyj said:

    I’ve felt something similar in the last few months. Enjoying a meal goes beyond simply sitting at the same table with someone and chowing down.

  4. Victoria C.D said:

    Wow, what a wonderful philosophy. Thanks for sharing!

  5. cool post! i’ve been learning alot about culture lately and find Japanese culture particularly interesting. 🙂 i like your application of this to day-to-day life 🙂

  6. There is an art to living well within a family – the idea of attentiveness is lovely and perhaps we could all learn from that a bit.

  7. Love this post too. I am from an Italian family and manners were VERY important to my mother. She bought a book on manners by Emily Post when my sis and I were young and made us study it and we had tests on the weekend. No kidding! As an adult, I am not so militant…but I believe strongly in manners and am, I think, a lovingly attentive host. Even when it is just my immediate family. It is, indeed, a lost art. Blessings!

    • Funny, I was raised in a pretty haphazard manner regarding table manners, kindness was important, but the rules of the table could be pretty lax. I’m realizing that they are the same thing…the rules of the table, in all cultures, are around kindness.

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