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Japanese Mortified By Obama's Bow

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posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by jibeho
reply to post by buddhasystem
 


I am all for respecting the culture of a host nation. However, Obama's bow went far beyond the typical greeting in Japanese culture.


It's not? How so? Bowing is a normal type of Japanese greeting. I worked with some Japanese and I do even now, and with people I know, I bow a little when I see them, they always bow back and it's like business as usual. How come that's not normal?


Comparing a yarmulke to a bow doesn't really jive.


Oh sure it does! Why the heck would he cover his head? Out of fear of JHW? That's a sign of weakness!


Imagine the shock if the Emperor gave Obama the traditional urban handshake or bumped his knuckles.


Give me a freaking break already. We are not talking inner city subculture here.




posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Oh I thought you like submissives?
Am I wrong?

I had the understanding thatif you bow to a certain level you are placing your head(mind) below your heart.



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by cindymars
 



Here you go Cindy a Perspective just for you.

Obama bends almost double as he bows to Japanese royalty

Standing at over six foot in height, Barack Obama had to bow deeply as he paid his respects to the diminutive Japanese Emperor Akihito.

But the comical sight, which saw the President bend almost double, will no doubt earn him nods of approval in Japan, where a low bow is a sign of great respect and deference.

Read more: www.dailymail.co.uk...



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by buddhasystem
It's not? How so? Bowing is a normal type of Japanese greeting. I worked with some Japanese and I do even now, and with people I know, I bow a little when I see them, they always bow back and it's like business as usual. How come that's not normal?



Exactly bow a little!
Not that deeply.



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:43 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
Exactly bow a little!
Not that deeply.


Now we're getting somewhere. Maybe one of you tech wizzes can come up with some sort of graphics protractor we can overlay on photos with an indicator showing when a head of state has gone too far. 72 degrees- acceptable. 75 degrees - unacceptable sycophancy. Allowing for possible photoshop anomalies, of course.



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:43 PM
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reply to post by CX
 




i think with Obama it's a case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't.


The correct solution would have been for Obama to not meet with the emperor. Oh...not refuse, of course. But merely delay the event until sadly, he was compelled to return and unable to stay for the event.

There is an established precedent that US presidents do not bow to royalty. Japan may be an unsual case because it is custom there for all people to bow to one another...but the key issue is one of acknowledging superiority. The reason a US president does not bow to royalty is because to do so acknowledges their superiority. In the case of Japan, I would argue that it would be proper for a US president to bow to, for example, a Japanese prime minister, because the PM would return the bow. If they bow to one another equally, then they are acknowledging one another as equals, as protocol on both sides can be observed. But the emperor would not return the bow...this should have been understood. According to Japanese tradition, the emperor is an earthly representative of divine will. It would be improper for the emperor to bow to any human.

There is value in honoring the traditions of others, but it is also important to honor ones own traditions. Obama bowing to the emperor was a tacit acknowlegement of the emperors superiority. Proper accordign to Japanese custom, but completely improper by US custom.

He should have avoided the meeting.



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:44 PM
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I don't think a "submissive bow" would be accompanied by a handshake. The two just don't mix. It's totally a respect thing..and right now, given the current economic and political state of things, America should be worrying about our image..and who represents the image of America? Obama does.



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:44 PM
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Since you are down there Obama...


What a dope.

Any lower and some could say he committed adultry.



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:45 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
Exactly bow a little!
Not that deeply.


Look, my Japanese sucks
If I try to be polite and say something nice, I can possibly say "go to hell" instead, but at least I tried


[edit on 17-11-2009 by buddhasystem]



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
One could only imagine the type of groveling that went on behind closed doors in Beijing.


You do know that Beijing is in China right, not Japan. They were at the imperial palace which is in Tokyo.

Just thought someone out to point it out.

-Cauch1



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by Cauch1
 


9-day Asian tour includes China...



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:04 PM
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Let’s see we spent countless billions and years rebuilding Japan and Germany after we ‘won’ World War II.

Obviously we lost World War II and are having trouble coming to terms with it!

Of course you can continue to believe we paid to rebuild these countries and spend a fortune annually to protect them if you want.

Sounds like it would definitely be cheaper to loose the next war. The ones we win seem to cost us big!


CX

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:05 PM
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Ok it's only one quote from a Japanese business ettiquette site, but....


If you are greeted with a bow, return with a bow as low as the one you received. How low you bow determines the status of the relationship between you and the other individual. When you bow keep your eyes low and your palms flat next to your thighs. The business card should be given after the bow. This is very important to remember.

Source: Japanese Business Ettiquette, Vital Manners, Cross Cultural Communication


So going by the above example, theres a couple of issues. Obama did not return a bow as low as his host, and the extreme "low" of his bow will bring up the question of if it shows Obama as inferior to the Emperor?

Personally, i think it's a mountain out of a molehill, and a joyous day for the Obama bashers.


Either way, i don't see why anyone should be angry at Obama, at worst he made himeself look inferior, not the Emperor.

Just reading this makes me shake my head, and for some reason think of part of the Pale Blue Dot quote by Carl Sagan....

"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds."

To think we are arguing over the height of a bow. Quite sad really when you think about it.


CX.



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:08 PM
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Fox news is trying to play down the Japanese reaction to Obama.

Japan atomic bomb-hit city applauds Obama speech

Nowhere in any Japenese media I could find any outrage from the Japenese, but considering the source is from Fox news..what did you expect?



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
Obama bows to Japanese Emperor, and even the Japanese are embarrassed


The video in this link was interesting. I wonder why it was *appropriate* to bow to the Emperor, but for the Empress a slight bow, but more like a nod? I don't know the customs well enough, but it has been my understanding that while it is polite to bow as a greeting, the bow must be appropriate to the the status of the person(s). Hence, lower bows for subordinates to superiors, children will bow lower to teachers, and adults of the same status will have equal bows - If Obama was trying to compensate for height difference, it looks like it turned into a major faux paux (at the least, the media will make it such). He should have just nodded and moved on...





[edit on 17-11-2009 by LadySkadi]



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:09 PM
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Bowing is a typical greeting in Japan. I worked for a Japanese company and people on the same level generally do a slight bow while always looking at the other person. This is a sign on mutual respect.

The low bow that Obama did is a completely different signal. When somone bows so low and shows the top of your head to the other person this is a signal that you are the underling and the person you are bowing to is the superior. I don't think this is the message the President of the United States should be sending. A slight bow while maintaining eye contact would have been more appropriate.

I just can't believe that nobody in the Obama administration briefed the guy on proper Japanese greetings.



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by LordBucket

There is an established precedent that US presidents do not bow to royalty.


You are absolutely correct.

Your sensitivity to the fact that it is a casual for of Japanese greeting is also commendable.

Which is why I think this is a case where the government should have conceded that only a diplomatic envoy would behave so, and establish a preliminary understanding that for an American, visitor or otherwise, NOT bowing is no sign of disrespect and not to be interpreted as an intent to offend.

Thus the President could have remained stoically dignified. No such arrangements were made because no diplomatic finesse was applied.

Not Obama's fault. But as noted, he'll get blamed anyway.

Bowing as submission, or any act of deference that diminishes the appearance of the President of a nation should be understood at those levels as something which is outside State affairs.

If world leaders are so petty as to demand such displays of exaltation they shouldn't expect to receive many state visits. Not that Japan did.

In the end this is more 'theater' for the media to spin....



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:19 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


If he bowed that low in Japan, I wonder what he's doing in China?



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:43 PM
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I guess you haters think he should have just said "Sup? while barely looking up from his iphone. Obama represents America, and he just tried to show him that America respects Japan and their cultures. It's not important if he bowed too low, or if he had bowed not low enough etc. If that emperor were to come to the states, would he not, as a guest, be inclined to bow to his host deeply, to show his respect in light of being invited to the other leaders Country?



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:59 PM
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reply to post by Nutzoid
 




I guess you haters think he should have just said "Sup? while barely looking up from his iphone.


Your comment is forcing me to pull the racism card that I always keep on me. I don't think anybody is saying that Obama should have went Lil' Jon on the man, but maybe try to act like the leader of the free world as opposed to a Geisha.

[edit on 17-11-2009 by HotSauce]




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