Body language is a big part of communication, and one aspect of interacting with the Japanese is picking up on what gestures mean. From pointing at their nose instead of their chest to indicate “me?” to the Lucky Cat “waving” gesture that looks to Westerners as “go away” when it means “come here” to the Japanese, there are some big differences. Some gestures the Japanese make are extremely expressive, and we don’t have equivalents for rubbing the forefinger and thumb together (which communicates “I don’t have any money right now”), an upraised pinky (“I can’t go drinking with you, I’ve got a date with my girlfriend tonight”), or cutting an imaginary gash across your cheek with a finger (which means “watch out for that guy, he might be a yakuza“). Often the gestures Japanese people make make are ridiculously cute. At the gym I go to, there’s an aerobics instructor who tries who get us to shout a kiai during the workout. But if we fail to do as she wants, she does this cute mock “falling down” thing, pretending she’s about to fall over in shock from our lack of fighting spirit. I love it.