In Japan, Business Cards Matter. And This Business Card Is One Tough Bastard.

Illustration for article titled In Japan, Business Cards Matter. And This Business Card Is One Tough Bastard.
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This isn't the most beautiful business card. Folks like Goichi Suda (No More Heroes) or Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid) have much better looking cards, but certainly not more amazing than Nihon Falcom's seemingly indestructible cards. While it's unlikely that these business cards will ever experience rough treatment, they are bound to be impressive in business card crazy Japan.


Based in Tokyo, Nihon Falcom has been a highly influential game developer and is perhaps best known for its Ys series of role-playing titles.

The card is tear-proof—or, as Nihon Falcom says via Twitter, capable of withstanding elephant stomps without getting tattered. It is also completely waterproof, and if the card gets wet, Nihon Falcom says it will dry quickly. Impressive!


Nihon Falcom even notes that the cards are "fashionable American and European sized." Western business cards are slightly smaller than Japanese cards. This is starting to sound like minutia, but business cards ("meishi" or 名刺 in Japanese) are extremely important in Japan. Like in any country, sure, people in Japan notice the paper stock, the font, and the design. But there is also a "correct" way to exchange business cards ("meishi koukan" or 名刺交換).

Illustration for article titled In Japan, Business Cards Matter. And This Business Card Is One Tough Bastard.

For those who must exchange business cards in Japan, the easiest way might be to present your card with two hands. Likewise accept others' business cards with two hands. Note that you actually might be exchanging cards at the same time, so you could be giving your card with one hand and receiving it with another. After you receive someone's business card, bow once and look at it. Don't stuff the card in your pocket!

If you are at a table, stand up for the business card exchange. It's best, but not always possible, to move away from the table. After you exchange cards, put that individual's business card on the table next to where you are sitting. Be sure not to forget it! Or use it as a coaster for your drink! Oh, and it can be rude to write on people's business cards in front of them, but I've seen numerous folks here scribble email addresses or phone numbers on cards—so it really depends on the situation.


Considering how many business people in Japan have special binders for clients' and colleagues' cards and taking into account the country's business card etiquette, it's unlikely that people will be getting these cards wet or having an elephant stomp on them. But in case that does happen, Nihon Falcom's tough cards are so ready.

(Top photo: zhu difeng | Shutterstock)

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A newspaper folded eight times can withstand the weight of a ton. What magic technique allows Nihon Falcom to create such cards with such durability in so small a thickness?