Honne and Tatemae are two very important concepts to understand Japanese social behaviour.
Honne could be described as the true feelings, desires and opinions of a person; while Tatemae, literally “façade”, is what you actually show in public according to what is expected or required by the society and one’s position and circumstances. Tatemae may or may not match one´s Honne, which are often kept hidden, as they can be contrary to what is expected or required by society.
From a Western point of view, to hide the truth is not usually very well seen. However, in Japan it is crucial in order to avoid the conflicts and maintain the harmony. It is considered a virtue to be able to resolve the differences between Tatemae and Honne internally without showing the true feelings, opinions and emotions.
Photographs & Text: Inaki Lizarraga | Website: www.inakilizarraga.com