Skip to comments.Complete Idiots Guide To Bowing in Japan: Special Copy For the White House (My Translation)
Posted on 11/16/2009 2:04:04 AM PST by AmericanInTokyo
While the book of that precise title has yet to be written (and might be a good book albeit a rather short book), the poor, bumbling White House only need to look at the following online information in order to be corrected once and for all and to also appreciate just what and what is not done in Japan, as they may continue to presumptuously assert that the "first Asia-Pacific President" schooled in these cultures was somehow being polite and sticking to protocol with the Emperor of Japan.
Here, we will be kind enough to translate it for them--spinning, apologetic, damage-control libs in the USA might also want to keep this advice straight out of Japan directly from the Japanese in mind before they sound off on topics they know little or nothing about.
It is currently located of all places as a link, temporarily up, on the Yahoo! Japan news page, below one of the top breaking stories on Obama's Tokyo "bowshake" (sic) with the Emperor.
The authoritative source which Yahoo! Japan uses is "The Dictionary of the ABCs of Japanese Culture" ("Nihon Bunka iroha jiten")[日本文化いろは事典 ], in Japanese. You cannot perhaps get a better authority on the matter than this. Even liberal professors of Japanese Culture in the US who may have donated to Obama and are now called upon to back them up in the midst of this cultural, international faux pas, may have this book on their shelves or resource on their laptops. By the way, did the US State Department or US Embassy in Tokyo have access to this material? That would have been nice.
"C: Topic:"Do not bow and shake hands at the same time"
We can say that to only lower your head is not so good for a Japanese bow. You will give the impression that your bow falls short. There are also the cases of somebody bowing their head repeatedly. In doing this, one might think you are paying the deepest respect and consideration, are being polite, etc., but the sentiment which should be expressed in the Japanese bow fails to be expressed doing this. When bowing while standing, their is the "highest respectful bow" (saikeirei), which is executed from a position of standing straight upward, and then bending 45-degrees or more. "Respectful bow" is at 30-to-40 degrees, and everyday "eshaku" around 15-degrees. "Saikeirei" is not seen on a regular basis, but is used in order to offer an apology, or when one is extremely grateful for something received, as well as performed before the altar of Shinto shrines and Bhuddist temples. In case of a handshake, straighten the back, and by all means one must look directly into the face (eyes) of the recipient of one's handshake. It is not to be too strong and not too light. Too strong will reflect an insult and too weak will not reflect good will. In America, such a weak handshake is called a "dead fish handshake", with the feeling being that the person wielding a dead fish. And, shaking a hand while performing a bow will be seen as subservient ("servile", "supple", "mean"), and is not to be done.
お辞儀と握手は同時にしないように 頭を下げるだけのお辞儀はあまり良くないといいます。これだとお辞儀をし足りなかったと思い、何回も頭を下げてしまうこともあるでしょう。そうなると敬意や奥床しさ（深い心づかい）、丁寧さなど、本来お辞儀で伝えられるべきものが伝わりません。立礼の場合、「最敬礼」は直立の姿勢から腰を基点に45度以上体を曲げます。「敬礼」は30～45度、「会釈」は15度程度です。「最敬礼」は日常ではあまり見られませんが、謝罪する時や本当に心から感謝の意を表したい時、また神前や仏前など儀式的な場面で用いられます。 握手は背筋を伸ばし、必ず相手の顔（目）を見て行います。強すぎず、緩すぎないように握ります。強すぎては相手に不快感を与え、また緩すぎても好意を表せません。アメリカでは弱い握手は「Dead-fish handshake」と呼ばれ、死んだ魚を握るようで気持ちが悪いと言われているようです。お辞儀をしながら握手をするのは卑屈に見えるので、あまりしない方がいいでしょう。
Gotta run to do something just now, but hope you would enjoy.
So you're bowing out?
Well there you have it. Too bad the president doesn’t have anyone to advise him on matters of protocol. Maybe he’ll initiate such a position, and become The First Protocol President, Deluxe.
“Respectful bow” is at 30-to-40 degrees..
I guess Obama’s 90 degree bow has real special meaning. Obama is “oh Baka” in Japnaese.
Have I told you love you yet today? LOL
This is great AIT!
Obeisance does have varying Rules of Etiquette, depending on the culture - that "Do as the Romans" thingy.
Obama, Bow to your superiors, shake with your equals, but never ever Bow Shake!
You either bow or shake hands, not both
This is true in other countries not just Japan
Japanese have no problem with the wrong bow from a foreigner
But by bowing and shaking hands at the same time they know 0baama is a dolt out of a Peter Sellers movie
Thanks for this AIT. I will be forwarding this commentary to many.
“Do not bow and shake hands at the same time”
That’s what I thought.
The guy looked like an idiot.
Well, actually, he is an idiot.
And I think he just did it to cover the Saudi Arabian gaffe ...
Jerk with his shoes on the furniture.
Who the hell puts their shoes on to a nice table???
Oh, I forgot, he didn’t pay for it so what the hell, hey?
Never did, never will pay for anything.
suckin’ off the government teat that’s this Community Organizer’s motto always has been always will be.
Is that a historical coffee table at the white house? I wonder if it is a gift from a previous administration, like say the Kennedy or Johnson administration.
Or did he have it bought from IKEA so he could flop his feet on it?
No, he has much to pay for, and he will pay for much.
If not in this life, then the next.
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