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Sneeze

Johnathan

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In America, when someone sneezes, the typical polite thing to say is "bless you" to the person who sneezed. I really don't know anything behind this tradition. I don't understand why someone would need to be blessed just for sneezing... but anyway...

I was wondering, is there anything like that in Japan? Is there a phrase that someone says to another person after they sneeze?
 

tasuki

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I've been here for 5 years and I've never heard anyone say anything special after a sneeze. There is an interesting saying though: one sneeze someone's talking about you, two sneezes in a row means somebody's saying something bad about you; and three sneezes in a row means you have a cold.
 

kazuma

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Originally posted by tasuki
I've been here for 5 years and I've never heard anyone say anything special after a sneeze. There is an interesting saying though: one sneeze someone's talking about you, two sneezes in a row means somebody's saying something bad about you; and three sneezes in a row means you have a cold.

hehe, sounds much alike to Chinese traditions.
 

Sekabin

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I found it really weird that no-one said 'bless you' when people sneezed in Japan... I've had it practically beaten into me that you should say it (I'm from the uk)

I'm not sure if this is a complete myth, but I've been told that saying 'bless you' comes from the time of the plague in England. Sneezing would be one of the first symptoms, so saying 'bless you' would be to prevent the devils influence/put god on you ;)
 

thomas

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;)

The blessing of those who sneeze started when the great plague took hold of Europe. Sufferers began sneezing violently, and as such, were bound to die. The Pope therefore passed a law requiring people to bless the sneezer.

At the same time, it was expected that anybody sneezing would cover their mouth with a cloth or their hand. This was obviously to stop the spreading of the disease, but many believed that it was to keep the soul intact. Sneezing 'into the air' would allow the soul to escape and death would be imminent.

Up until this time, the opposite was true. Those who sneezed were congratulated as it was believed that a violent sneeze would expel evil from their bodies.

=> http://www.aushomepage.com.au/Article/178/

While we're at the topic: I'm wondering why a lot of Americans use the German "Gesundheit" (health) instead of "Bless you".
 

den4

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probably think it sounds cooler than the engrish version.. :D

at least they don't say "Breath you" like some J-folks that can't get the "l" and "s" and "th" sounds right....
 

tasuki

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@kazuma
Whether Japanese want to admit it or not, 95% of their culture is based on Chinese culture, so it's inevitable to find similarities...
 

kirei_na_me

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at least they don't say "Breath you" like some J-folks that can't get the "l" and "s" and "th" sounds right....

Who says I can't take a joke?! :D hahaha
 

kinjo

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Originally posted by Johnathan
In America, when someone sneezes, the typical polite thing to say is "bless you" to the person who sneezed. I really don't know anything behind this tradition. I don't understand why someone would need to be blessed just for sneezing... but anyway...

I was wondering, is there anything like that in Japan? Is there a phrase that someone says to another person after they sneeze?

I got some strange tale told to me once that your heart stops for a second when you sneeze and the "bless you" is for the second that passed that your heart wasn't beating.

Very strange...
 

jeisan

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Originally posted by thomas
While we're at the topic: I'm wondering why a lot of Americans use the German "Gesundheit" (health) instead of "Bless you".

well alot of reasonsi can think of, they think it sounds cool, they took some german in school or speak it at home. my personal reason for using it is im not religious and really should be 'blessing' anyone and gesundhiet is a nice alternative. also doesnt gesundhiet translate as 'good health' or 'to your health'?
 
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