Each entry aims to break down the gesture/phrase and give you the background info needed to use it well and in the right context-including video examples, where available. By the end of the 20 entry series(10 phrases/10 gestures), you'll have a solid base to work from and that much more ability to interact how you want to and make sure your message rings loud and clear. With all that established, we'll jump right into the first of each, starting with a gesture made famous by a random cat who helped a traveler avoid a bad end with a simple wave of their palm.
Gesture #1: The Beckoning Wave
Actual Gesture: the palm of the person's hand faces the ground and the hand waves inward towards the body
It's Function?: It's meant to signal the person on the receiving end to come closer, similar to the palm-up version used in many Western countries, but much less of a tough guy vibe
Any Associated Phrase?: Yes, and with this one, one of them is 「こっちにおいで！(Over here, please!)」
Anything else?: If you've seeing the waving motion go outwards from the body, it means they're pissed off at the recipient and are telling them to piss off.
What's this about a cat and a traveler?: One possible origin of this gesture and the cat itself, known in Japan as
Phrase #1: ありがとう
Literal Meaning: It's tough for this to exist
Intent: Thank you
Usage: Like 'Thank You', it's used when someone does something for you and you want to express appreciation for it, like when you find you don't have money for the last train home, and someone pays your fare
Notes: One possible origin for this phrase is from the full, formal version of this phrase,