The Right Japanese Bow

The bow was wrong all right, but Tapper’s friend should have instructed us about the RIGHT bow:

‘A friend of ABC’s Jake Tapper would like to clear up some misconceptions about President Obama’s bow to the Japanese emperor: First, “the right is wrong about Obama’s bow.” It’s not an “unprecedented” display of subservience from an American president—Richard Nixon bowed to the emperor in 1971 (photo here). But the left also misses the mark: The bow can’t be a “sign of cultural understanding” when it’s done all wrong.

‘Nixon’s bow was spot on, continues Tapper’s friend, who is a student of Japanese history. “Obama’s handshake/forward lurch was so jarring and inappropriate it recalls Bush’s back-rub of Merkel.” A move designed to “show the president as dignified” came off like a “first year English teacher trying to impress with Karate Kid-level knowledge of Japanese customs.” It made him look weak “in Red State terms” and Japanese terms, too.’ –ABC

When I worked for a Japanese animation firm in the early 90’s, I became interested with the Japanese language and culture and studied about it.
I can’t remember if I read this from a book or if a Japanese friend taught me the right bow which is really simple:
Both hands should be kept straight and on your sides and the bend, as low as possible, must come from the waist with body straight. Simple, isn’t it?


About DigitalPlato

Poch is a Bookrix author and a freelance writer. He is a frequent contributor to TED Conversations.
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