Honne and Tatemae

Honne (本音?) refers to a person's true feelings and desires. These may be contrary to what is expected by society or what is required according to one's position and circumstances, and they are often kept hidden, except with one's closest friends.

Tatemae (建前?), literally "facade," is the behavior and opinions one displays in public. Tatemae is what is expected by society and required according to one's position and circumstances, and these may or may not match one's honne.

The other night I was watching a segment on ESPN about sumo wrestling and they mentioned the words Honne and Tatemae. I was immediately intrigued...
I think all writers, whether they realize it or not, suffer from tatemae haunts. We may not lie, but we definitely omit certain aspects of our lives for whatever reasons...and I'm fine with that.
I think it makes the honne moments more special...

Do you think it's wrong to only share who you truly are with a set group of people or should we all be striving to live our truths publicly?

I've been chewing on that question for awhile now...

PS I LOVE the images that come up when you google search "Honne and Tatemae"

Credit by: Frame Maker
Did you know women sported Brazilian wax jobs back then?! I sure didn't!


  1. I think it's absolutely ok to only share your true inner self with a select few. 1) it's more intimate and special 2) it's a sort of armor or protective measure and 3) it makes those closest to you feel special and loved that you are willing to trust time with the authentic no facad you!


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