If your goal is to learn Japanese, you are up for a challenging but fun experience. One of the fundamentals lessons when learning a new language is learning how to introduce your self to others. When meeting a person for the first time, most people use the expression "Hajimemashite" as a formal greeting. The greeting is derived from the verb "hajimeru," which means "to begin." Another common greeting is "watashi," which is used in introductions, but rarely in any other contexts. When you are introducing yourself to someone for the first time, you the phrase "Douzo yoroshiku." You can also use this phrase when you ask someone for a favor.
To learn Japanese properly, you must adopt certain social customs and cultural traditions. For instance, in Japan it is customary that only close friends or family members address each other by their given names. For conducting business, it is customary for the Japanese to address each other by their last names or official title. However, if you visit Japan as a student, you will most likely be addressed by your first name. One general guideline to follow is to always introduce yourself (and address others) by last name, especially in more formal situations.
Finally, to learn Japanese and become fully immersed in Japanese culture requires that you learn how to bow. The bow, better known as "ojigi," is an essential part of Japanese life. The ojigi is more acceptable than a handshake. The ojigi is used when you introduce yourself to someone for the first time and when conducting everyday business transactions. If you stay in Japan as a student, after a while the ojigi will come as second nature, and you will begin to do it automatically. Believe it or not, you may even find yourself bowing during telephone conversations, as many Japanese can be observed doing.