PThrough empirical investigation, the body language of greeting courtesy in China and Japan is compared and studied and the findings are as follows:
Firstly, when meeting those who are of the same gender and are not very intimate, both Chinese and Japanese people mainly smile and nod their heads. The frequency of smiling during greeting is highest, showing a high degree of coincidence. Smiling can be used either alone or in conjunction with other body language such as nodding, bowing, or raising hands, which serves a social function as a kind of communicative language behavior. The overwhelming majority of male Japanese college students like to "raise hands," which constitutes a strong contrast to Chinese people.
Secondly, when meeting those who are of the opposite gender and are not very intimate, both Japanese people (the social group besides college students) and Japanese college students show a smaller tendency of smiling, while their ratio of nodding and bowing significantly increases. Chinese, however, still mainly smile and nod their heads, which
could be deemed as the main body language for Chinese people when communicating.
Thirdly, when meeting those who are of the same gender and are very intimate, both Chinese and Japanese have an increased frequency of physical contact. Japanese males mostly favor a handshake or a smile, which is very obvious. As for Chinese men and women, distinctions exist. Chinese males like shaking hands or clapping shoulders, while females embrace each other distinctively. If compared to that of the Japanese, the Chinese embrace is more prominent.
Fourthly, compared with the body language used when meeting intimate acquaintances of the same gender, the body language of people in both countries are more rich and colorful when meeting intimates of the opposite gender, and obvious similarities exist in both countries. However, the Japanese embrace and Chinese kiss each has its dominance, mainly because the subjects involved are couples in love.
In a word, compared to Japanese, Chinese people do not mind body contact, especially when the relationship is intimate, and the more intimate the relationship, the higher the rate of physical contact there is. This difference shows that the Chinese and Japanese have different emphases on human relations and physical distance.