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I've always found this gesture curious, because it looked like the "shooing away" gesture to me, but Sasuke reacts as though he's being summoned. So I'm interested to know if this gesture is part of Japanese culture and would be generally understood.

Itachi

I'm interested in two things here: Which direction is Itachi flicking his fingers? Technically speaking, he does both, but the way I understand the "shooing away" gesture is that you're flicking away, indicating to the other person to go away, so it could be a matter of how the gesture is understood. And I'd like to know how widely used this is in Japanese culture (or whether it's just an Itachi thing), and whether the Japanese would recognize this gesture as "shooing away" at all. Just an explanation for the gesture, basically.

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Itachi is flicking his fingers towards himself, not outwards (which would be shooing away someone), which was why Sasuke came over to him. It's called the Beckoning sign and it varies by country.

It's also not just an Itachi thing - it's a common gesture in Japan to call someone over to you. I believe it's a different gesture compared to Western countries hence the confusion, which is understandable since I also thought it was how the Western countries do it. Here's a video demonstrating the gesture: https://youtu.be/iBcQFBuj2Os

It's interesting to note that the 'come here' gestures of some English-speaking countries are considered rude in some Eastern countries and is even a ground for arrest in one country.

Some resources about hand gestures:

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    I’m not sure about other countries, but at least in the USA, we do the same hand gesture except for our hands are pointed upwards rather than downwards. – Wondercricket Apr 3 at 2:09
  • @Wondercricket Interesting. In ours, we do a gesture similar to what the Japanese does, sometimes with a slightly downward arm movement while flicking the fingers when it's something urgent. – W. Are Apr 3 at 13:36

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