My Take on “The Bow”
Ok, so we’ve all seen “the photo.”
I’m gonna shock some folks by saying the following: I have no real issues with a President of the United States of America bowing to the Emperor of Japan.
The issue one should be wondering, is this: Why the hell is he bowing so low?
I’m trying to draw back into my memory banks from some old conversations I’ve had with an old classmate of mine (I believe he’s now a Minister at a Jehovah’s Witness Temple in the Twin Cities) who was born of an American mother and a Japanese father. He told the class that in Japan, the depth of your bow signifies where you stand in society. His example was that students bow at the same length to each other, but a student bows lower when bowing to a teacher or elder.
In this case, Obama as President of the United States, should only be doing a slight bow since he is of equal stature in society as the Japanese Emperor. The bow as pictured makes it look like he’s a lowly busboy while meeting the feudal head of Japan.
Someone in the White House’s cultural liaison office botched this one and made their boss look like a fool. They ought to be sacked for that.
(Or maybe they’ll be moved to another office and it will be called “a saved job” under the federal stimulus plan.)