Japanese people pay attention to the status, seniority, age and many other things when talking with other people. When you meet some Japanese people, use the appropriate style. Otherwise, they can feel offended. This article explains Japanese introductions based on the level of politeness.
When introducing yourself in Japan (jikoshōkai), you should bow slightly in the beginning and at the end, Do not show the back, the men have their hands along the body, women have their hands in front of the body. The opening phrase Hajimemashite indicates that you are going to introduce yourself for the first time.
In Japan, you say as much information as you can about yourself. Of course, not always the circumstances permit it, so where it is not appropriate say just your name. In situations where it is possible to say more about yourself, say, for example: what school you have finished, your marital status, age, interests, and so on. Remember, that women are always more polite in communication. The form of introduction depends on the situation, and the other person. There is a difference in introducing yourself in a night bar and in a new job. There is a simple rule that can help you: the longer the phrase, the higher degree of politeness.
If you are not sure which form of introduction to choose, always use the neutral form.
Now, let’s look at some self introduction samples. Don’t forget that to correctly present yourself in Japanese is the key. First impression is important, right?
In an informal introduction, the starting phrase Hajimemashite may be omitted. For example, just say the name / occupation / age. The word “desu” in the informal speech is shortened to “da”. Similarly, the “iimasu” is shortened to “tte iu n da”. There is a difference between a woman’s and man’s introduction.
Example introduction, if you are a woman:
Atashi wa Sandra desu. / Watashi, Sandra da. (I am Sandra)
Amerika kara kite ru. / Nihon kita. (I am from America)
Nihon ni iru aida wa yoroshiku desu. (Take care of me, while I am in Japan)
Example introduction, if you are a man:
Boku wa Kenesu tte iu n da. Kanada kara kite ru. (I am Keneth. I came from Canada)
Mada shinguru da shi. (I am single)
Yoroshiku. (Closing phrase, something like “take care of me”)
Another form of Japanese introductions is the neutral form, which you use e.g. on a conference, where you don’t know the attendees, or in a group of people who have similar status as you.
Hajimemashite. (Starting phrase which indicates that you are going to introduce yourself)
Smith Sandra desu. (I am Sandra Smith)
29sai desu. (I am 29 years old)
Amerika kara kimashita. / Amerikajin desu. (I am from America / I am American)
XYZ-kaisha no enjinia desu. (I am an engineer at XYZ company)
Kekkon shite imasu. (I am married)
Dōzo yoroshiku / Dōzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu. (Closing phrase. The longer the phrase, the more politeness you show)
Use formal introduction e.g. in a new job, when communicating with superiors or seniors (senpai), famous and elderly people. The verb “mōsu” is a modest variant of “iu” (to say).
Hajimemashite. Yamada Naomi to mōshimasu. (My name is Yamada Naomi)
Hiroshima no honsha kara kochira ni tenkin ni natte orimashita. (I was transferred here from Hiroshima’s main office)
Kon’yaku shite orimasu. (I am engaged)
Dōzo yoroshiku onegai itashimasu / Dōzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu. (Polite closing phrase)
Now, it is your turn. Pick one of the Japanese introduction styles and introduce yourself in Japanese.