Japanese Men's Gifts

Written by hannah wahlig
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Japanese Men's Gifts
Traditional Japanese gifts like masks are suitable gifts for Japanese men. (Japanese mask image by Rosemary Robenn from Fotolia.com)

In Japan, gift giving is as much an expression of love and gratitude as it is an expected and revered social custom. Gifts are an essential part of holidays such as Christmas and Valentine's Day, as well as a standard element of business meetings and social gatherings. When choosing a gift for a Japanese man, consider his personal interests as well as his heritage in order to select the perfect gift.

Traditional Gifts

Incorporate an element of traditional Japanese culture into a gift for a Japanese man. If the gift recipient is interested in sports or fitness, consider an authentic or decorative reproduction of traditional Japanese weaponry. Long katana swords in sleek or carved sheathes serve as masculine wall decor. The smaller but equally artful tanto swords or nunchaku weapons are also traditional Japanese weapons that are suitable gifts.

If your gift recipient is more of an art or theatre lover, an authentic Noh mask is a gift option. The carved wooden masks are integral elements of Japanese musical theatre; the colourful and dramatic Noh masks are representations of 80 traditional human and nonhuman characters in Japanese Nogaku theatre.

Edible Gifts

It is a Japanese custom that women present their male loved ones with chocolate on Valentine's day. If you are shopping for a loved one for Valentine's day, consider sticking to the custom and presenting a gift of gourmet chocolates in a carved wooden box. For a more modern twist, choose a chocolate themed gift rather than edible chocolate; a chocolate scented body spray or a back pack or messenger bag with a chocolate manufacturer logo is a functional and appropriate gift for a male loved one. For other holidays, a food-themed gift like a ceramic sake set or set of bamboo sushi mats is also suitable.

Home Items

When opting for a home decor item for a Japanese man, be careful not to choose a gift that takes up too much space or adds clutter to the home; in Japanese cities, interior space is at a premium and many apartments do not have room for unnecessary clutter. Instead, opt for wall hangings or paintings that do not take up floor space. Commission a painting of the gift recipient's name or a favourite quotation written in Japanese characters. A print by a famed Japanese painter like Kabukido Enkyo or Utagawa Toyoharu is also a welcome addition to a man's home; choose a print that depicts a strong male emperor or other masculine element.

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