Smoking, Japanese style

“[When one] is to smoke the tobacco which is prepared for guests by the host and which has been placed on the tray, regardless of the quality; a guest should not smoke until his host has entered the room. When the host offers tobacco, the guest should at first refuse to accept it, saying, “After you.” This refusal should be made two or three times in the same way as is customarily observed when sake or tea is offered. Then the host should pick up a pipe (kiseru) and remove the guard. After wiping the pipe, the host should offer the guest, saying, ‘Please enjoy smoking this pipe.’ If the tobacco is of good quality, the guest should praise it. After taking a puff or two he is to replace the guard on the pipe and place it in front of him. Upon his departure he is to wipe the pipe clean with a paper handkerchief and return it to the tobacco tray. However, when the guest notices the guest cleaning it he is to say, “Please, leave it as it is.” Should the guest be the host’s superior, the guest should have the good manners to refuse the gift of the pipe, saying, ‘I am too humble to accept this gift.’”

For more on this blog of suggested ways to smoke in Japan, as opposed to the 'Big Brother' totalitarian English goverment, go to:


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