よろしくおねがいします（Yoroshiku onegaishimasu）is probably the phrase that you learn at the very beginning of your Japanese study as self-introduction.
Your teacher might tell you that よろしく means “nice to meet you”,
which is partly right.
But when you carefully listen to Japanese people’s conversation,
You’ll notice that よろしくis used in a various situations,
and you might be confused what よろしくreally means.
Today let’s focus on the phraseよろしく or よろしくおねがいします
and learn its real meaning depending on the situation that is used.
This is probably the most well-known usage for Japanese learners.
When introducing your self, you would say,
Hajimemashite, __(your name)__desu. Douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
Nice to meet you. I’m ________. Nice to meet you(!?!?!?)
Here you might wonder why you need to say “nice to meet you” twice in a different way, and what the difference is between “Hajimemashite” and “Yoroshiku”, right?
So literally, よろしくおねがいします is not really “nice to meet you”.
When you meet someone new and start the relationship,
it is likely that in the near future you’ll help with each other or spend time together with that person.
So Yoroshiku onegaishimasu when introducing yourself literally means
“I thank you in advance for whatever the effort you would give me in the future”.
Have you heard the phrase “一期一会（いちごいちえ／ichigo-ichie）” ?
一期一会 means “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.
This is a phrase that originated in Tea ceremony culture in Japan.
Traditionally Japanese people treated every meeting as a precious opportunity.
That is probably the reason why people in Japan tend to say よろしくおねがいします（or thank you for your help in advance）often when introducing themselves to people whom they meet for the first time.
When people say よろしくor よろしくおねがいします for greeting, they don’t really think of the its origin or the real meanings any more, but behind よろしく there seems to be a lot of cultural backgrounds!
よろしくおねがいします when introducing yourself means:
Nice to meet you.
But literally means; I thank you in advance for your effort to keep our relationship.
The next よろしく is the situation where you and your friends are talking about the mutual friends/ family, and say；
__(your friend’s name)__ ni yoroshiku!
This means “please say hello to ___(your friend)__”
The conversation example is like this;
The formal version is
___ni yoroshiku otsutae kudasai.
So when you are talking with people older than you or those in a high position at work, you need to add “おつたえください（otsutae kudasai）” after よろしく（yoroshiku）.
When you ask somebody to do something for you, you also use “よろしく”.
Situation is like this;
This よろしくcan be often used in a business situation as well.
When Japanese people say “これからもよろしく（korekara mo yoroshiku）！” or “またよろしく（mata yoroshiku）!”
that means “let’s keep in touch!” or “Looking forward to seeing you soon”
Please leave comments if you like this post!
Kongo tomo, yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
Looking forward to seeing you soon!