Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bowing in Japan!

Now... my brother brought up a very interesting "news" item for me the other day. He asked if I'd heard about the right-wing going nuts over President Obama bowing to the Emperor of Japan. It is entirely frustrating that people are pushing their own agenda to the extent that they completely disregard Japanese culture as being the reason that the US President would bow to the Japanese Emperor.

Bowing is greeting between people of all ages. A bow is usually deeper based on the age and status of the person you are bowing to. (Obama is in his 40s and the Emperor is in his 70s - and he's the Emperor!) Friends bow to each other as do family members. It's not a sign of subservience (usually anyway, only when you are bowing to apologize ).

Why did the Emperor not bow to Obama in greeting? He's the Emperor of Japan. He is the ONLY person in Japan who does not have to bow to reciprocate a bow made in greeting. The Japanese Emperor is no longer regarded as a god, but he is still probably the most respected figure in all of Japan. (There were celebrations last week for the Emperor's 20th year on the throne... it was full of celebrities just like the Queen's Jubilee in 2002 in the UK.)

Why is the right making a big deal out of this cultural exchange that was a sign of good will and cultural understanding? Well, I have a theory. Instead of trying to resurrect the Republican party in an honorable fashion, by re-defining goals and their voter base, it is easier to oppose President Obama on EVERYTHING. The attacks are getting more and more petty and proving that the American people made the right choice in voting for Obama. Isolationist behavior, as displayed by the right-wing, is what earned the US a horrible reputation on the international stage for the last 8 years. Thank goodness there's been a change.

OK, my political rant is over... I'll talk about something more fun tomorrow! :-)

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