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Appropriate gifts for a fudosan

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  • Appropriate gifts for a fudosan

    I'll start by saying that I'm new here, so initially, the questions/threads that I post may seem inane and/or trivial to the more seasoned user of these forums. For that, I apologize in aadvance.

    My husband and I are moving to Japan mid-November, as he's accepted a civil engineering job with the U.S. Naval base in Sasebo. I have a myriad of questions to be answered.

    I understand that giving small gifts is customary in Japan, and I'd just like an idea of what an appropriate gift for a fudosan would be. We'll be looking for a really nice place, and I'd like our first impression with a fudosan to be favorable. (As I understand that finding a fudosan willing to serve us in the first place may be challenging, being that we are Americans).

    Any advice you guys can give me on this subject would be greatly appreciated.


    Also, hello to all of you.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by calichica View Post
    Any advice you guys can give me on this subject would be greatly appreciated.


    Also, hello to all of you.

    Thanks.
    when you find your apartment he will charge you a month's rent as his commission. That is your gift to him, don't think he is doing anything for you out of charity. Not only that, essentially you are bribing him, not because you want to give him something out of the kindness of your heart.

    Its not the fudosan who rejects foreigners, its the landlord, the fudosan is simply the go-between between you and the landlord.
    Last edited by KansaiBen; 2011-09-05, 03:45 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
      when you find your apartment he will charge you a month's rent as his commission. That is your gift to him, don't think he is doing anything for you out of charity. Not only that, essentially you are bribing him, not because you want to give him something out of the kindness of your heart.

      Its not the fudosan who rejects foreigners, its the landlord, the fudosan is simply the go-between between you and the landlord.
      Understood. I don't have the misconception that ANY of the myriad gifts I anticipate giving near strangers will or even should be out of a sense of "genuine kindness". I understand, however, that it WILL be necessary to do so from time to time, (lest I be viewed as grossly impolite/inconsiderate), so I accept that fact.

      I do have another question: Although I understand that a fudosan is necessary and there is practically no way around enlisting one, why is that? Why is it not customary for potential tenants to approach a landlord/owner directly? I ask this out of (mostly) sheer curiosity.

      Thanks again.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by calichica View Post
        Understood. I don't have the misconception that ANY of the myriad gifts I anticipate giving near strangers will or even should be out of a sense of "genuine kindness". I understand, however, that it WILL be necessary to do so from time to time, (lest I be viewed as grossly impolite/inconsiderate), so I accept that fact.

        Japanese as a rule, do not give gifts unless they are visiting someone's house, maybe attending a wedding. There are set times of the year when Japanese exchange gifts such as new Year, O-seibo or Chugen. You can buy gift packs at the department stores. I would not go out of your way to buy gifts for co-workers, except when maybe you go home and buy some souvenirs. Japanese dont expect gifts unless they have done something first to merit receiving something.



        I do have another question: Although I understand that a fudosan is necessary and there is practically no way around enlisting one, why is that? Why is it not customary for potential tenants to approach a landlord/owner directly. I ask this out of sheer curiosity.

        Thanks again.
        Depending on where you live the landlord will not deal with tenants directly and the real estate agent will vet tenants for the landlord. With foreigners, you may not speak the language, there may be cultural customs you are not aware of (cooking smells, loud music, hanging out your laundry, putting garbage out on wrong days). also if you cut out the middleman he loses his commission and there is nothing in it for him by introducing you to a landlord, who you would never find on your own. Many landlords don't want to have to deal with difficult tenants, late or non-payment of rent, damaged property and they leave that for the real estate agents to manage.
        Last edited by KansaiBen; 2011-09-05, 04:48 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sounds like you read in a travel book that Japanese are always giving gifts. I would not worry about it. You don't have to give one to the fudosan. I did not when I came out here (I work for a US company). What KansaiBen says is correct about when to give gifts.

          Be prepared for a shock, though. There are no laws against housing discrimination here and some landlords really may reject you because you are a foreigner. They aren't necessarily racist, just don't want the hassle of someone who doesn't speak the language. Not sure if you have kids but some landlords have a "no kids" rule.
          Last edited by Wonky; 2011-09-05, 04:53 PM.

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          • #6
            PS in case you dont know, in Japan you have what is called "giri choco". In Japan girls give chocolates to the men they like for Valentines Day and just so the other guys dont feel left out the girls will buy "giri choco" or "obligation chocolate" so they dont hurt the guy's feelings for not getting "real" chocolates. If you want to give gifts, give it then and knock yourself out.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
              PS in case you dont know, in Japan you have what is called "giri choco". In Japan girls give chocolates to the men they like for Valentines Day and just so the other guys dont feel left out the girls will buy "giri choco" or "obligation chocolate" so they dont hurt the guy's feelings for not getting "real" chocolates. If you want to give gifts, give it then and knock yourself out.
              Isn't this mostly in the office, though?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Wonky View Post
                Isn't this mostly in the office, though?
                Co-workers mainly but if she is thinking of buying gifts for 50 people in the office it can get quite expensive.

                Bring a couple of bags of candy bars or chocolates from home and put them in the teachers room and tell people to help themselves. generally I don't buy gifts for people unless they have gone out of their way to do something for me and they are not getting paid for it.
                If you move into a new house you might go around the neighbors with a small packet of towels, some soap or laundry powder as a kind of welcoming gift. In the US I believe its the neighbors who do it for you to welcome you to the community. In Japan its the new tenant to prevent any neighborly disagreements.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
                  Co-workers mainly but if she is thinking of buying gifts for 50 people in the office it can get quite expensive.

                  Bring a couple of bags of candy bars or chocolates from home and put them in the teachers room and tell people to help themselves. generally I don't buy gifts for people unless they have gone out of their way to do something for me and they are not getting paid for it.
                  If you move into a new house you might go around the neighbors with a small packet of towels, some soap or laundry powder as a kind of welcoming gift.
                  Good idea, those little towels are big here.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I recently gave my oyasan (landlord) the obligatory nice senbei pack but that was in response to a successful renegotiation of the rent. I got a nice reduction in my rent due to one of the other tenants passing away. It was a week before anyone noticed they hadn't seen the ojisan in 106. That was in June and by August half the tenants, fearful that his vengeful spirit was going to get them, had bailed.

                    Rule of thumb is you give gifts to close personal friends or family at special occasions (weddings, funerals, graduating from an ultra elite uni and such like), you also give gifts to people who have done you favours–like my landlord who chopped 10,000円 off my rent, the MOF guy who gives you the heads up that you're going to be audited 6 months before it happens or the stock broker who gives you insider information regarding a major deal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
                      PS in case you dont know, in Japan you have what is called "giri choco". In Japan girls give chocolates to the men they like for Valentines Day and just so the other guys dont feel left out the girls will buy "giri choco" or "obligation chocolate" so they dont hurt the guy's feelings for not getting "real" chocolates. If you want to give gifts, give it then and knock yourself out.
                      Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post

                      generally I don't buy gifts for people unless they have gone out of their way to do something for me and they are not getting paid for it.

                      If you move into a new house you might go around the neighbors with a small packet of towels, some soap or laundry powder as a kind of welcoming gift. In the US I believe its the neighbors who do it for you to welcome you to the community. In Japan its the new tenant to prevent any neighborly disagreements.
                      That will probably be my "general" procedure as well. The whole concept of spending money on gifts for people "just to be nice" is a bit off-putting to me. LOL. I'll do it only when I deem it necessary to be polite. However, the advice about gifts for our new neighbors is useful. I may do that. Thank you.

                      Originally posted by edin日本 View Post
                      I recently gave my oyasan (landlord) the obligatory nice senbei pack but that was in response to a successful renegotiation of the rent. I got a nice reduction in my rent due to one of the other tenants passing away. It was a week before anyone noticed they hadn't seen the ojisan in 106. That was in June and by August half the tenants, fearful that his vengeful spirit was going to get them, had bailed.

                      Rule of thumb is you give gifts to close personal friends or family at special occasions (weddings, funerals, graduating from an ultra elite uni and such like), you also give gifts to people who have done you favours–like my landlord who chopped 10,000円 off my rent, the MOF guy who gives you the heads up that you're going to be audited 6 months before it happens or the stock broker who gives you insider information regarding a major deal.
                      Forgive my morbid sense of humor, but when I read that you got a rent reduction because someone else died, I immediately thought "Cool! If someone kicks it in our new building, maybe WE can use our "fear of a returning vengeful spirit" to negotiate a reduction in OUR rent. LOL.

                      Anyhow, thanks for the advice.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        'Money' is also the appropriate gift if you're invited to a wedding. Check with co-workers on the appropriate amount.
                        For the company it is custom to bring chocolates or similar small snacks from a trip, also a nice guesture if you are new. There is a whole industry in Japan for this.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Happy sacks

                          I like to give them a swift knee into the happy sacks!

                          Connect the 5-toed bony thing at the end of my leg extremelly hard with the dangly set of objects in their underpants.
                          That was when fudosans accepted everyone and Gaijin were welcome everywhere!




                          mmm... ummm......Wait a minute! Do you think it was my fault??

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by calichica View Post
                            Forgive my morbid sense of humor, but when I read that you got a rent reduction because someone else died, I immediately thought "Cool! If someone kicks it in our new building, maybe WE can use our "fear of a returning vengeful spirit" to negotiate a reduction in OUR rent. LOL.

                            Anyhow, thanks for the advice.
                            And when your landlord asks for a "contract renewal fee" after a year be sure to ask him for a refund for being absolutely useless the other 364 days of the year.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by calichica View Post
                              That will probably be my "general" procedure as well. The whole concept of spending money on gifts for people "just to be nice" is a bit off-putting to me. LOL. I'll do it only when I deem it necessary to be polite. However, the advice about gifts for our new neighbors is useful. I may do that. Thank you.



                              Forgive my morbid sense of humor, but when I read that you got a rent reduction because someone else died, I immediately thought "Cool! If someone kicks it in our new building, maybe WE can use our "fear of a returning vengeful spirit" to negotiate a reduction in OUR rent. LOL.

                              Anyhow, thanks for the advice.
                              I can help facilitate "people passing away" to secure lower rent. PM for details!

                              Comment

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