Some Interesting Differences: Japanese Hand Gestures: 10 hand symbols compared to the US

10 Japanese Hand Gestures compared with America

Japanese Hand Gestures – they are often different from the hand signs used in other countries. Since Jason Brock is an American, he made this video to compare hand gestures between the United States and Japan. You can see Japanese hand signals for things like “OK” and “bad” in Japan (among many more). Then, you will see the US version of that gesture. It’s an interesting comparison!

About the Video

First, this video, Ten Japanese Hand Gestures Compared to the US, demonstrates 10 different hand gestures between the USA and Japan. Likely, you will be surprised by a few of them. Plus, at the end of the video, you’ll see a few rude and “not so safe for work” gestures! Of course, if you don’t like that sort of thing, please stop after 10. 

So, here is a list of the 10 Japanese hand gestures Jason goes through in the video. Additionally, each has a comparison to the American version of the same hand signal:

  1. Money
  2. Bad/No Good
  3. Come Here
  4. Kiss Ass/Brown Nose
  5. No/No Thank You
  6. Smart/Intelligent
  7. Me/I/Myself
  8. Check Please!
  9. Excuse Me/Pardon Me
  10. Counting to Ten

Hopefully, this video, Ten Japanese Hand Gestures Compared to the US, was interesting. Maybe it was even educational?

To sum it up, Jason made this video to entertain you. However, it is also meant to answer questions about the differences between hand gestures between the two countries. Actually, studying hand gestures among countries all over the world can be quite interesting! 

So, if you liked the video, please like it on YouTube, too. Also, please share it and leave a comment with your thoughts! In addition, don’t forget to subscribe to Jason’s YouTube channel! Seriously, you could be missing out on a lot. He releases videos twice a week.

Well, stay safe everyone. And, enjoy some of Jason’s other videos while we’re all stuck at home during this coronavirus situation.

…and here’s a message directly from Jason Brock!


A Message from Jason

Hey everyone!

I have been living in Japan for about a year now, and I’ve noticed some differences between the US and Japan. Actually, one of the differences that has been most interesting is the hand gestures. The hand signs (or signals) used in Japan. There are many different hand gestures in Japan that are not the same in the US.

For example, when you talk about money in Japan, you make a hand gesture that looks kind of like the “OK” symbol in the US. But, what we think of as the “okay” sign actually means “money” here. Actually, the hand is held in a slightly different position. In the US, we rub two fingers together to signify money. So, the contrast is so interesting, right?

I hope you enjoy this video. It took me some time to make it. And, for some reason my camera stopped filming partway through. UGH. You’ll see where that happens, but don’t worry, I pick up right where I left off. In the end, it was fun, but a lot of work to make!

Please leave me a comment with your thoughts and don’t forget to share this, subscribe and like! Again, thank you so much.

PS – special thanks to my patron, G.F for helping me get these videos made with her support! If you want to join here, you can here:

Jason Brock


Watch the video here: Ten Japanese Hand Gestures Compared to the US: 

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Japanese Hand Gestures
Japanese Hand Gestures


About Jason Brock

Jason Brock X Factor Finalist is a singer, actor, entertainer, vlogger and political science student currently living in Tokyo, Japan. In addition, he was a finalist on the X-Factor. Also, he is a four-time winner of the “Best Male Cabaret Singer” in San Francisco (where he used to live). Get more info about Jason here.

Resources Used in Ten Japanese Hand Gestures Compared to the US Video

The Most Popular Japanese GESTURES!

The (Almost) Complete Guide to Japanese Gestures, Body Language and Their Meanings

70 Japanese Gestures: No Language Communication

Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender, and Sexuality

This Is Not “Fuck You” in Japanese Sign Language

Dartmouth Folklore Archive: Insulting Gestures: Japan: Gesture 1 (Finger Across the Throat Gesture)

The Ninja. Ancient Shadow Warriors of Japan


Mountain Mandalas: Shugendō in Kyushu

Mudra: A Study of Symbolic Gestures in Japanese Buddhist Sculpture

Photos all public domain or my own and the following creative commons photos:

Vladimir Dashyan Armenian Ninja:

Recruitment of examinees at Kinpusenji Zao-do in Yoshino-cho, Nara July 20, 2017, author: Indiana jo 

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