"Have you gained some weight? If you're a big person and come to Japan, be prepared to hear light-hearted comments about your weight. Although it's usually not polite to make direct mention of a person's girth in the U.S., in Japan it's quite common to start a conversation with an acquaintance by asking him if he's gained weight recently before getting down to the discussion at hand. It's not fun, but you get used to it quickly enough, and the Japanese mean no harm in it -- it's just a kind of small talk, like discussing the weather or the economy, since there are so few people who are on the big side here. (Actually, it's okay when they comment on your weight. If they stop mentioning it altogether, you might have a problem.)"