Japanese rice wine or “nihonshu” often brings with it an air of elegance. Aside from its taste and venerable heritage, some of this may be derived from how “nihonshu” is handled when pouring or drinking. Drinking “nihonshu” is often a communal experience. One drinks with a group and conventionally at company events. Usually the cups are rather small, it is said that this is so the one offering the drink and pour for more than just one person and so facilitate good relations and conversation. The drink itself is also poured without touching the brim, showing respect for the recipient’s cup which might be of precious value. A very important rule is that one does not pour for one’s self. As drinking is often a communal activity, these traditional mores help to build up social harmony and good relations.
Japan cultures and foods article brought to you by Consulate General Japan in Miami.