Honne to Tatemae (ones personal feelings and the socially accepted view) (本音と建前)

Honne to tatemae is a Japanese expression to explain a social phenomenon. First, honne is the term to indicate one's real feelings and desires. These feelings and desires may sometimes differ from what are expected or demanded by one's social status, so that it often happens that honne is not expressed honestly. On the other hand, the term tatemae refers to one's behaviors and opinions to be expressed officially. These behaviors and opinions are expected and demanded from one's social status, and are sometimes at odds with one's real feelings and desires.

This discrepancy appears ubiquitously as a phenomenon in the process of growth of human beings. Researchers on theories of Japanese cultural and racial uniqueness consider that the existence of such wording to express discrepancy between personal feelings and social view is an element of austerity of Japanese people in their courtesy and culture. Personal feelings and social requirements have historically been main subjects of Japanese plays.
As a typical example, a leading character who is forced to select either to take heed of his family and his lord or to fulfill his forbidden love affairs cannot help but commit suicide with his lover in order to be released from the dilemma (as depicted, for instance, in a series of drama written by Monzaemon CHIKAMATSU.)

However, this kind of phenomenon is not always limited to Japan but can also be seen in countries other than Japan.

[Original Japanese]