Japanese Indirect Communication

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by PERNILLE RUDLIN

I keep discovering new Japanese expressions for communicating indirectly, even though I have either lived in or had interactions with Japan for over 30 years now and think of myself as a fluent Japanese speaker. I already knew the word ishindenshin, usually translated as “telepathy,” composed of characters meaning “convey your heart or spirit by using your heart or spirit.” Over the past few years I have discovered some new expressions such as kuuki o yomu (reading the air), haragei (stomach skill or gut communication) and ah-un no kokyu (ah and hmm breathing). The latter is a reference to how people who know each other intimately …

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