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Lord of Hunger
11-16-2009, 07:07 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091116/pl_afp/japanusdiplomacyasiaobama

Yeah, I'm not particularly right-leaning (or left for that manner), but I have to say that this annoys me. Obama, as President, represents America, both country and citizenry. Symbolically, every American bowed to a foreign king (and a powerless figurehead on top of it). Democracy and freedom aside, we are a sovereign nation, not a vassal state. Moderating our tone towards other nations is fine, but this crosses the line.

Same holds for his bow to the Saudi King as well.

Astor
11-16-2009, 07:17 PM
Symbolically, every American bowed to a foreign king (and a powerless figurehead on top of it).

Then what's the problem?

this crosses the line.

How so?

I can't help but think that too much is being read into what appears to be an extreme display of politeness.

VarsityPuppet
11-16-2009, 07:21 PM
In reference to the article:

"I think it's a gesture of kindness," she told CNN, adding that the bow appeared intended to show "goodwill between two nations that respect each other."

I have to agree. I'm sure that there were many other undertones to the gesture and whatnot, but I can only speak for myself.. and if I were to bow to anyone, it would be out of a gesture of kindness only.

jonathan7
11-16-2009, 07:22 PM
Bush and many other Presidents have bowed to the Queen on a state visits - there going to be a kick off about that?

I love the hypocritical over-reacting hyperbowl of some sections of the Republican party, I still think Obama, could solve third world debt, personally invent a cure to cancer and aids, and bring about Middle East Peace, and he'd still get slated by some sections of the American "Conservative" wing.

Edit Proof:

Bush bows to the Pope;

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_yauD0EoTkwU/Sr-EdqUIYDI/AAAAAAAAABs/xoFHgypqYSQ/S230/bush_bow.jpg

Totenkopf
11-16-2009, 08:13 PM
I think the problem is often the manner in which his "kindnesses" are executed. IIRC, the degree to which you bow to another in Japan is a reflection of status. If he'd merely nodded his head (like Bush in your pic), at least he wouldn't look like a rank amatuer in the end. I think your observation about republicans and credit cuts both ways (and probably more if there were more than two dominant parties, as credit is often only grudgingly conceded in politics).

Darth InSidious
11-16-2009, 08:26 PM
OH NO BROS, THE PRESIDENT SHOWED A MARK OF RESPECT TO A FOREIGN DIGNITARY OF HIGHER RANK THAN HIM

AMERKIN SOVEREIGNTY IS COMPROMISED FOREVER

OBAMA WAS THE ANTICHRIST AFTER ALL

DAMN YOU OBAMA AND YOUR UNKONSTITOOSHUNULL ANTICHRISTING

DAMN YOU

THE US HAS TO BOMB DAMASCUS NOW AS A SIGN YOU GUYS ARENT WEAK AND SOCIALIST

mimartin
11-16-2009, 08:42 PM
Oh my, let’s get the impeachment proceeding going.

I used to think humility was a virtue. At least according to Wikipedia, it still is. Guess they have not gotten the memo as of yet. One of ya’ll take care of that please.

I see no big deal here, unless Obama got down on his knees and licked the Emperor’s feet I see no line crossed here.

Totenkopf
11-16-2009, 08:45 PM
Oh my, let’s get the impeachment proceeding going.

I see no big deal here, unless Obama got down on his knees and licked the Emperor’s feet I see no line crossed here.

I'm sure there'll be grounds for impeachment for something more serious w/in the next 3 years. :xp:

I agree that it's no big deal, but just wish he'd try a little harder to not look like such a putz on the world stage.

mimartin
11-16-2009, 08:56 PM
I agree that it's no big deal, but just wish he'd try a little harder to not look like such a putz on the world stage.

I actually don't think he looked like a “putz” to anyone, but Americans that have nothing better to do. To the rest of the world it looks like an American leader actually has humility. It looks as if we are not trying to force our will down other nations’ throats and that we are trying to be a part of the world community. To me the “putz” are the ones that want to dictate what other countries do. I don’t want them telling American what to do, so I can’t expect to be able to tell them what to do.

jonathan7
11-16-2009, 08:58 PM
I agree that it's no big deal, but just wish he'd try a little harder to not look like such a putz on the world stage.

To be honest he was trying to be culturally sensitive in that bowing to in Japan, especially to the Emperor is highly ritualised and exaggerated. If that is appropriate or not for him to do, I shall not pass comment, but I do think whatever else he was trying to be respectful.

My general point was I don't think there is any big deal with it, and I'm sure future Republican Presidents, as well as past ones will bow to foreign dignatories. However I am getting very tired of all the drama queen's in the American right-wing press who pounce on small things like this. They could, you know, actually do some proper journalism ;)

Litofsky
11-16-2009, 09:04 PM
~Darathy~

Precisely, my fellow American lover: [5:51 PM] Darathy: AMERKUH IS A HOLY NATION SET APART BY GOD.

With all seriousness, I don't see what the big deal is. Unless my knowledge of this area is completely skewed, bowing is a sign of respect, and not subservience.

Lord of Hunger
11-16-2009, 09:06 PM
OH NO BROS, THE PRESIDENT SHOWED A MARK OF RESPECT TO A FOREIGN DIGNITARY OF HIGHER RANK THAN HIM

AMERKIN SOVEREIGNTY IS COMPROMISED FOREVER

OBAMA WAS THE ANTICHRIST AFTER ALL

DAMN YOU OBAMA AND YOUR UNKONSTITOOSHUNULL ANTICHRISTING

DAMN YOU

THE US HAS TO BOMB DAMASCUS NOW AS A SIGN YOU GUYS ARENT WEAK AND SOCIALIST
Uh...what the hell? Am I somehow some sort of moron in your eyes because in this case I am being critical of Obama? Hell, I usually argue in his defense when discussing political issues with my friend.

And I fail to see how your post is productive for this discussion in the slightest.
Bush and many other Presidents have bowed to the Queen on a state visits - there going to be a kick off about that?
Wait...what?

Seriously, what the hell? I am genuinely ****ed off by this.
Bush bows to the Pope;

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_yauD0EoTkwU/Sr-EdqUIYDI/AAAAAAAAABs/xoFHgypqYSQ/S230/bush_bow.jpg
And this too. Hell, I'm partially Catholic, and this is just not right.
I love the hypocritical over-reacting hyperbowl of some sections of the Republican party, I still think Obama, could solve third world debt, personally invent a cure to cancer and aids, and bring about Middle East Peace, and he'd still get slated by some sections of the American "Conservative" wing.
The hypercriticism of Obama is not genuine on the highest levels, just as the hypercriticism of Bush is not genuine on the highest levels. Both are merely an irritating product of the two party system and has nothing to do with their actions.

I think both Presidents have had their mistakes, but not on the level people make it out.
Then what's the problem?
It's even worse because as a mere figurehead the Japanese Emperor does not hold powers worthy of significant respect from a true Head of State. In that regard, the Japanese Prime Minister is more worthy because he wields the power.
How so?

I can't help but think that too much is being read into what appears to be an extreme display of politeness.
There is a big difference between respect and reverence for a foreign leader. It just isn't right for the leader of our own country, no matter whether it is Bush or Obama, to revere a foreign leader. Bowing is a very powerful gesture, especially in Asian society.

Totenkopf
11-16-2009, 09:07 PM
...
They could, you know, actually do some proper journalism ;)

Hell, I think all journalists on both sides could stand for some of that. :D

I actually don't think he looked like a “putz” to anyone, but Americans that have nothing better to do. To the rest of the world it looks like an American leader actually has humility. It looks as if we are not trying to force our will down other nations’ throats and that we are trying to be a part of the world community. To me the “putz” are the ones that want to dictate what other countries do. I don’t want them telling American what to do, so I can’t expect to be able to tell them what to do.

Who.....like Vladamir Putzin? :xp:

jrrtoken
11-16-2009, 09:54 PM
It's even worse because as a mere figurehead the Japanese Emperor does not hold powers worthy of significant respect from a true Head of State. In that regard, the Japanese Prime Minister is more worthy because he wields the power.It's simply a multi-ethnic tradition to show respect to the monarch of a fellow ally state; it's been around for... ever, really. It might seem... silly and unnecessary these days, but respect is respect, regardless.There is a big difference between respect and reverence for a foreign leader. It just isn't right for the leader of our own country, no matter whether it is Bush or Obama, to revere a foreign leader.Explain how a simply curtsy or a bow represents total, unequivocal submission, in an almost masochistic master-slave relationship. It's sign of respect; nothing more, nothing less.Bowing is a very powerful gesture, especially in Asian society.Yes, yes, and if you'd also recall, bowing can also be as complimentary and submissive as a Western handshake. This isn't an even severe as a kowtow; it's as equivocal to a curtsy.

Det. Bart Lasiter
11-16-2009, 10:09 PM
americans don't bow unless we're threatening a midget and we need to look it in the eyes

Hallucination
11-16-2009, 10:21 PM
Symbolically, every American bowed to a foreign king (and a powerless figurehead on top of it)So you would rather see him bow to someone who can actually do something politically?

Same holds for his bow to the Saudi King as well.
They're not really the same, seeing as the Saudi king can do something politically. o_Q

mimartin
11-16-2009, 10:33 PM
I guess Obama could have done the Republican alternative to bowing and threw up on the Emperor. :D

lockhead
11-17-2009, 01:17 AM
I don't want to come across as snarky or anything, but who cares? So Obama showed respect to the leader of another nation? So what? That would make him better than a president who doesn't, not worse. And I know from karate that respect in bowing is a very big deal. Good on him I say for trying to be honorable.

CommanderQ
11-17-2009, 01:27 AM
Hmmm....this is really interesting. This is obviously Obama trying to improve foreign relations by showing humility....but I would think this a bit too much humility. There is a such thing as being humble without sacrificing one's position or rank.

Bowing that low in Japan is often only done from a subordinate to a superior, the subordinate's bow always deeper then the superior's. So for Obama to bow this low...I guess the reason this disturbs the American public is more that it seems like Obama is submitting to another countries' leader, and I cannot recall any of our Presidents doing that before. From what I know, the President's who have tried to show humility have never submitted, but showed their authority and power in a peaceful way. In the end, that often brings about mutual respect.

It might just be our American pride speaking, but the US has almost always been a country that would look Kings and Emperors in the eye, not bow before them. Heh, that's one of the reasons for the Revolution and breaking off of the British Empire {other then the taxes of course :D}

Darth Avlectus
11-17-2009, 02:20 AM
Well, I'd say a nod or nodding bow of equal stature to the emperor would be less intrusive or subserviant-ish, more subtle and communicate just as much.

Still, the depth of the bow indicates rank and subservience. From a tactical psychological viewpoint it only shows he is unaccustomed to formalities. Possibly those with aggressive militant mindsets will view him as weak for it.

However, I don't think this should harm much of anything. So long as he isn't kneeling or heave-bowing on both knees...well, I guess it could be worse. :giveup:

Uh...what the hell? Am I somehow some sort of moron in your eyes because in this case I am being critical of Obama? Hell, I usually argue in his defense when discussing political issues with my friend.

And I fail to see how your post is productive for this discussion in the slightest.

Meh, it's just DI's rhetoric. He isn't so bad (or so I hear) in the help dept. when it comes to modding. Otherwise...best just to ignore him if he is a bother.

The hypercriticism of Obama is not genuine on the highest levels, just as the hypercriticism of Bush is not genuine on the highest levels. Both are merely an irritating product of the two party system and has nothing to do with their actions.

I believe there is a saying: "You could be Albert ****ing Einstein, but when you start your lectures or letters with 'dear idiot' you close the ears of your prospective audience forever onward after that." --some professor describing the negative effect about using ad-hominem fallacy.

Unfortunately, that little reality notwithstanding, people will be judged by both their associations *and* their actions. Not saying it's right but it is reality.

I think both Presidents have had their mistakes, but not on the level people make it out.

That they *have* made those mistakes, but people with their freedom of thought and speech are going to make of it whatever they want to. Hyperbole and blowing it out of proportion are the inevitable side effects.

There is a big difference between respect and reverence for a foreign leader. It just isn't right for the leader of our own country, no matter whether it is Bush or Obama, to revere a foreign leader. Bowing is a very powerful gesture, especially in Asian society.

As a Kendo/Iaido student I can support this claim. In fact, if you do not stand at attention and show proper respect when a Hanshi enters, you are insulting him, your dojo, all those from visiting dojos, and the very sake of Kendo itself.

However, were it the Emperor visiting the U.S., the Emperor would likely bow to the president all the same. Not as deeply, but still, a bow. Just saying.

Hmmm....this is really interesting. This is obviously Obama trying to improve foreign relations by showing humility....but I would think this a bit too much humility. There is a such thing as being humble without sacrificing one's position or rank.

True enough.

Bowing that low in Japan is often only done from a subordinate to a superior, the subordinate's bow always deeper then the superior's.
Thank you fellow student of the sword.
So for Obama to bow this low...I guess the reason this disturbs the American public is more that it seems like Obama is submitting to another countries' leader, and I cannot recall any of our Presidents doing that before. From what I know, the President's who have tried to show humility have never submitted, but showed their authority and power in a peaceful way. In the end, that often brings about mutual respect.

And I reiterate that a nod, or perhaps 'nodding bow' would have sufficed.

It might just be our American pride speaking, but the US has almost always been a country that would look Kings and Emperors in the eye, not bow before them. Heh, that's one of the reasons for the Revolution and breaking off of the British Empire {other then the taxes of course :D}

Why how dare USA not be subservient! None shall stand for such insultery! ...:D

Web Rider
11-17-2009, 02:31 AM
The Emperor bowed to Obama, so Obama bowed in return. To not do so would be the same as if a foreign dignitary extended their hand in greeting, and Obama did not accept it.

Perhaps Obama was confused on which bow to use, perhaps, not being in the habit of doing so, he dipped a little too deeply. In my opinion, it is always better to show MORE respect, than less. Really, I have no doubt that Obama's opposition would have slammed him for not showing enough respect, as much as they have for apparently showing too much.

In any case, the Emperor has no power, so any gesture Obama makes to him is irrelevant. He doesn't control his own country let alone America. Short story: it doesn't matter, and nobody should care.

Darth Avlectus
11-17-2009, 02:47 AM
Maybe his opposition mainstream, or fringes but frankly the "loaded gun" is used by both sides and cuts (or shoots) both ways. Not *all* of his opposition is so petty.

I will go with confusion on the specifics. For all my Kendo formalities, I have been admittedly a little sloppy when it comes to SCA. Nothing the region "Queen" has scathed me for--though it gets ridicule from elder "Sirs" as does the fact I'm not a euro sword 'purist'.

If no real harm is ultimately done I have a hard time saying too much about it. Besides, there's always 'next time'.

El Sitherino
11-17-2009, 03:38 AM
Learn about world culture OP.

This thread sucks.

Ten-96
11-17-2009, 04:04 AM
Learn about world culture OP.

This thread sucks.

From your sig:
“When we come into contact with the other person, our thoughts and actions should express our mind of compassion, even if that person says and does things that are not easy to accept. We practice in this way until we see clearly that our love is not contingent upon the other person being lovable.”

In my opinion, the OP didn't like seeing the President of the United States bow to someone. I concur. That is my opinion. I'm not a citizen of the world. I'm a citizen of the United States. I am fiercely loyal to my nation and would defend it with my last breath if needed. Again, just my opinion on the whole bowing thing. I don't expect (nor should I) that everyone would be in agreement with my opinion.

El Sitherino
11-17-2009, 04:13 AM
In my opinion, the OP didn't like seeing the President of the United States bow to someone. I concur. That is my opinion. I'm not a citizen of the world. I'm a citizen of the United States. I am fiercely loyal to my nation and would defend it with my last breath if needed. Again, just my opinion on the whole bowing thing. I don't expect (nor should I) that everyone would be in agreement with my opinion.

Thanks for quoting my signature, however it was in no way relevant.

As for your argument about being a citizen of the United States, that's fine, so am I. However as the President is our figurehead to speak with other foreign officials he is required by his job to adhere to cultural standards of respect. Should the British Prime Minister not shake our Presidents hand because as a proper British gentlemen he shouldn't touch the hand of a miscreant.

The point I'm attempting to make is that bowing in Japan is like waving hello, there's no point in going to talk to someone if you aren't going to talk. You don't ignore your friends after all. Or perhaps another proverb, "You don't **** in another man's kitchen"

Ten-96
11-17-2009, 06:02 AM
Thanks for quoting my signature, however it was in no way relevant.

You're welcome. I quoted it because you stated, "This thread sucks." That makes it relevant to this thread. Again, everyone is entitled to their opinions but I was under the impression that we were supposed to respond to threads in a civil manner.


As for your argument about being a citizen of the United States, that's fine, so am I. However as the President is our figurehead to speak with other foreign officials he is required by his job to adhere to cultural standards of respect. Should the British Prime Minister not shake our Presidents hand because as a proper British gentlemen he shouldn't touch the hand of a miscreant.

The point I'm attempting to make is that bowing in Japan is like waving hello, there's no point in going to talk to someone if you aren't going to talk. You don't ignore your friends after all.

The above is a great example of an opinion. I have mine about Obama bowing to a foreign leader and you have yours. I'm sure that there are many things that are customary in other countries that are not practiced here. The same can be said for things we do here. In my opinion, Obama shouldn't have bowed as low as he did.


Or perhaps another proverb, "You don't **** in another man's kitchen"

The above is relevant, how? I thought the discussion was about the "perceived" (by myself) show of weakness from Obama. Your last comment brings to mind an offense committed against another. However, if that is your opinion of the situation; so be it.

Astor
11-17-2009, 06:35 AM
Wait...what?

Seriously, what the hell? I am genuinely ****ed off by this.

Oh, please. The President has been practically worshipped by other world leaders for the last six months - he returns the favour by being polite and all of a sudden he's giving away your sovereignty? I didn't realise that the President of the United States was equal to no-one, and should never bow before anyone, be it man, woman or beast.

We had the opportunity to overreact when the First Lady 'groped' Her Majesty - did we see that as a threat to our Sovereign? Or as a slight against our national pride? No, we didn't, because it was a simple mistake of diplomatic protocol, exactly like this.

There is a big difference between respect and reverence for a foreign leader. It just isn't right for the leader of our own country, no matter whether it is Bush or Obama, to revere a foreign leader. Bowing is a very powerful gesture, especially in Asian society.

And I don't see reverence there at all - but then again, I don't see my head of state being polite as a threat to national sovereignty, seeing as she does it all the time.

Also, 'When in Rome'...

Bimmerman
11-17-2009, 02:50 PM
In Japanese culture, bowing is a formal greeting and show of respect. He is simply doing as polite and formal Japanese protocol requires. He may have bowed a bit far but honestly, unless you have a protractor, who knows the correct angle to avoid offending anyone?

This is so not a big issue.

also, Astor's very much right. I spent the entire year in Germany, and Obama-worship is a bit out of control. How is bowing jeaporidizing....anything? It's not: there is just apparently nothing else for right wingers to get all aflutter about. And I say this as a disgruntled moderate Republican.

The Emperor bowed to Obama, so Obama bowed in return. To not do so would be the same as if a foreign dignitary extended their hand in greeting, and Obama did not accept it.

Perhaps Obama was confused on which bow to use, perhaps, not being in the habit of doing so, he dipped a little too deeply. In my opinion, it is always better to show MORE respect, than less. Really, I have no doubt that Obama's opposition would have slammed him for not showing enough respect, as much as they have for apparently showing too much.

In any case, the Emperor has no power, so any gesture Obama makes to him is irrelevant. He doesn't control his own country let alone America. Short story: it doesn't matter, and nobody should care.

Emphasis mine.

JediAthos
11-18-2009, 10:25 PM
Have to agree with Bimmerman and Web Rider on this one...no harm no foul. I couldn't believe people were making a big deal out of this. There sooo many more important things going on in the world today.

Darth333
11-18-2009, 11:11 PM
The Emperor bowed to Obama, so Obama bowed in return. To not do so would be the same as if a foreign dignitary extended their hand in greeting, and Obama did not accept it.

Perhaps Obama was confused on which bow to use, perhaps, not being in the habit of doing so, he dipped a little too deeply. In my opinion, it is always better to show MORE respect, than less. Really, I have no doubt that Obama's opposition would have slammed him for not showing enough respect, as much as they have for apparently showing too much.

In any case, the Emperor has no power, so any gesture Obama makes to him is irrelevant. He doesn't control his own country let alone America. Short story: it doesn't matter, and nobody should care.

QFE. A bit of respect and humility can't hurt and are most welcome.

Democracy and freedom aside, we are a sovereign nation, not a vassal state. Moderating our tone towards other nations is fine, but this crosses the line.
Ever heard of etiquette? There are many countries around the world and there is more than one way to do things. However, when in Rome...Bowing was required there...Whether he bowed a little too low or too high is irrelevant as an intelligent host would understand that the angle, if wrong, was not chosen with ill intent or total disregard, merely foreign clumsiness.

There is a big difference between respect and reverence for a foreign leader. It just isn't right for the leader of our own country, no matter whether it is Bush or Obama, to revere a foreign leader. Bowing is a very powerful gesture, especially in Asian society. How about traveling and living abroad for a while instead of merely repeating what you hear and read in some media? There are more than 200 countries and even more different cultures around the world...there is more than one way of doing things.

Why would anyone complain about someone showing some respect towards a host is beyond my comprehension.

Tommycat
11-18-2009, 11:28 PM
I love the hypocritical over-reacting hyperbowl of some sections of the Republican party, I still think Obama, could solve third world debt, personally invent a cure to cancer and aids, and bring about Middle East Peace, and he'd still get slated by some sections of the American "Conservative" wing.


Funny, I said the same thing just replace Obama with Bush and Conservative with Liberal and we have the exact same quote.

Course that's also why I tend to be a bit more understanding. I know how angry it made me that no matter what Bush or the conservatives did, it was WRONG. So I figure, I'll stop criticizing everything Obama does.

What I'm saying is... Meh it's a "oops," not a "OMG" for Obama to have bowed too low... Besides, the LAST country to try to tick off the US is Japan... They got a couple of reminders already...

JediMaster12
11-19-2009, 03:50 AM
I saw a clip of President Obama's bow on youtube and the hype coming from it...don't the journalists have anything better to gripe on like say the economic situation?

President Obama was merely giving respect to the representative leader of a foreign nation, a nation we had once been at war with and now are on friendly relations with. If I am not mistaken, the president would have had cultural advisors with him to give him background on the nation he is visiting. He obviously knew that bowing is a means of greeting and showingrespect. I see no harm in bowing to political/diplomatic allies out of respect for their traditions. The United States seems to long have the image of the bully by the persistent dogging about the American way being the right way and the only way. It seems to me that President Obama is taking a different step and actually acknowledging that there are other kinds of people in the world.

Truth be told, the nonsense about this is what it is...nonsense. I would think that journalism would have better things to do than be hypercritical. Every little thing like this makes me think us Americans are nothing but whiners, complaining about every little thing hopwever insignificant.

Salzella
11-20-2009, 04:27 PM
good grief, do people really think like that?

Jae Onasi
11-20-2009, 06:44 PM
In Japanese culture, bowing is a formal greeting and show of respect. He is simply doing as polite and formal Japanese protocol requires. He may have bowed a bit far but honestly, unless you have a protractor, who knows the correct angle to avoid offending anyone?

Obama's so tall--it may have been difficult for him to gauge the angle compared to the Emperor, too.

Better to err bowing too deep than too little, in this case. It certainly makes no difference in the business they had to conduct, so I'm not getting why this is such a big brouhaha. He's just trying to be polite, and I think the intent is as important as the "Official bowing rules for American Presidents".

Q
11-20-2009, 07:08 PM
I don't see any problem here. The president was being polite; not subservient.

It's basically the whole "When in Rome..." thing.

GeneralPloKoon
11-20-2009, 07:14 PM
I really don't understand what the fuss is about...

JediAthos
11-20-2009, 10:54 PM
good grief, do people really think like that?

Sadly...yes

El Sitherino
11-20-2009, 11:25 PM
Obama's so tall--it may have been difficult for him to gauge the angle compared to the Emperor, too..
See I just figured it's because he's the only president we've had in decent enough shape to not upset his joints at the waist, which lead him to being the first to pull off a decent bow.

And maybe it's just having not been in geometry for a while, but I'm pretty sure that's not a 90 degree angle...

Darth Avlectus
11-21-2009, 10:54 PM
No, it wasn't a full 90 degrees. :rolleyes:

I daresay, it was a mistake of formality that he probably won't make a second time--I hope.

Oh, and please everyone stop making fun of the short height of Japanese people. They're not all "too short to go on rides at disneyland" as Rowdy Roddy Piper seemed to joke.

Trench
11-21-2009, 11:09 PM
Why is everyone making such a big deal about this? In Japan pretty much everyone bows when greeting one another. It's a sign of respect, and the lower the bow, the more respect you are trying to show.
Obama bowing to the emperor is no different than a pair of japenese business associates bowing before a meeting.
It's pretty much the japenese version of an American handshake.

HdVaderII
11-22-2009, 12:51 AM
I have to agree that there's no reason for anyone to be making a big deal out of this. Bowing is part of Japanese culture to show respect for others. Obama bows. He's being respectful. It's good that we have a leader that can do that.

Totenkopf
11-22-2009, 12:53 AM
Obama's so tall--it may have been difficult for him to gauge the angle compared to the Emperor, too.

What?!? The "smartest man in the world" can't do a simple spatial geometry problem? Jae, say it ain't so.....:D It was a protocol faux pax. Focusing on this in the end will be about as productive as going on about flag lapel pins was pre-election. ;)

Jae Onasi
11-22-2009, 04:02 PM
I agree it's about as productive as arguing about flag lapel pins.

Obama's a good foot taller than the Emperor, so yes, it would be harder for him to judge. I think he figured it out pretty quickly, however, because his bow to the Empress wasn't quite so deep.

The question we should be asking is what Obama actually got done while in Japan.

Tommycat
11-25-2009, 09:22 AM
Oh, and please everyone stop making fun of the short height of Japanese people. They're not all "too short to go on rides at disneyland" as Rowdy Roddy Piper seemed to joke.

Oh they can joke all they want about the height. I don't take offense. Granted I'm a 6' Japanese guy. My mom is 4'11"(shorter now after her back injury) and she was the tallest of her siblings. Lets face it, as a people, Japanese are relatively short.

Totenkopf
11-25-2009, 10:19 AM
IIRC, post WW2 the average height of Japanese has increased due to dietary changes.

Drunkside
11-25-2009, 10:43 AM
Its basically the same as a polite handshake is for the western world. Why arent you yelling and screaming in horror about handshakes then?

Ping
11-25-2009, 02:35 PM
Its basically the same as a polite handshake is for the western world. Why arent you yelling and screaming in horror about handshakes then?

Exactly what I'm wondering. Really, it was a polite gesture, nothing more. It seems conservatives these days are trying to criticize the president on eveerything. I'm sorry if that offends anyone, but that's what it seems like to me.

Tommycat
11-25-2009, 04:15 PM
Exactly what I'm wondering. Really, it was a polite gesture, nothing more. It seems conservatives these days are trying to criticize the president on eveerything. I'm sorry if that offends anyone, but that's what it seems like to me.

Just as the Liberals did with Bush. It's been like that for a long time. Its just that now with more people on the internet sharing their political views, you hear it more. People feel more free to say stuff about politics than they used to. Not to mention because of the internet they can get away with saying stuff that would normally have gotten them a punch to the face. So it's built up a lot of anger between the two major parties. They both look at the other party as the embodiment of evil.

Ping
11-26-2009, 01:29 PM
^Very true. Now, I personally don't see either party as "good" or "evil", but when another party seems to be trying to find every excuse to make a jab at the president, regardless of the action, I just find it a bit...irritating.

mimartin
11-26-2009, 02:11 PM
Funny, someone seems to forget what Clinton went through. Which is really funny since Carter got blamed for the economy up to 12 years after he was out of office and he was only in office 4 years.:rolleyes:

Darth Avlectus
11-26-2009, 05:34 PM
Oh they can joke all they want about the height. I don't take offense. Granted I'm a 6' Japanese guy. My mom is 4'11"(shorter now after her back injury) and she was the tallest of her siblings. Lets face it, as a people, Japanese are relatively short.

No no, it's not really just protecting the Japanese--it's keeping taller people's cockiness in line. An aikido master in his 70's was visiting a former student's dojo and I happened to be there. The biggest tallest one there was a hockey tough guy, 6'4" 220 lbs and damn vicious. Got turned into a writhing side of beef for just making a comment "short stuff".

Moral of the story: Don't disrespect the short people!!!

Tommycat
11-26-2009, 09:57 PM
Funny, someone seems to forget what Clinton went through. Which is really funny since Carter got blamed for the economy up to 12 years after he was out of office and he was only in office 4 years.:rolleyes:
And somebody seems to forget what Bush Sr. went through. How critical everyone was of Reagan. Sure NOW Conservatives adore him, but at the time... As I said, it's been this way for a long time. Since before I was born. The internet has just amplified the voices of those who are more critical.

By comparison Clinton wasn't criticized nearly as bad as GW Bush. I mean where where the cries of "Illegal war of aggression" when Clinton used bombs and US troops in Bosnia, in support of Milosevic. He didn't even have the flimsy justification that Bush did. But lets not dwell on that.

Facts are that since the advent of the internet and the increasing popularity of it, political back biting has steadily increased. Just as the advent of print media and radio, and TV News stations ramped up the criticism each time.

No no, it's not really just protecting the Japanese--it's keeping taller people's cockiness in line. An aikido master in his 70's was visiting a former student's dojo and I happened to be there. The biggest tallest one there was a hockey tough guy, 6'4" 220 lbs and damn vicious. Got turned into a writhing side of beef for just making a comment "short stuff".

Moral of the story: Don't disrespect the short people!!!
Pfff the way I see it, If they show disrespect to someone based on size, they deserve whatever they get. My Judo MASTER mother taught me to never underestimate a person because of their size...ouch!

Totenkopf
11-27-2009, 10:42 AM
...As I said, it's been this way for a long time. Since before I was born. The internet has just amplified the voices of those who are more critical.
...Facts are that since the advent of the internet and the increasing popularity of it, political back biting has steadily increased. Just as the advent of print media and radio, and TV News stations ramped up the criticism each time.

Very true. Internet and cable tv have basically shattered the monopoly that libs have enjoyed in journalism in this country for most of the last 40+ years.

Web Rider
11-28-2009, 07:54 PM
Very true. Internet and cable tv have basically shattered the monopoly that libs have enjoyed in journalism in this country for most of the last 40+ years.

Would those be the "new liberals", the "neo liberals", the "libertarians", the "classic liberals", the economic "liberals", or just "them libs!! *insert redneck gibberish*"? Because I hate to break it to you, but we've had neo-liberals in government for the past 40 years, we've got a liberal economic policy, and none of that has anything to do with "left-wing liberals".

So do you even argue now or do you just spout what the Party tells you to? Of course the liberals control journalism when everything short of GOP party-line is considered "liberal".

Totenkopf
11-28-2009, 08:54 PM
Unfortunately, nothing you said above invalidates my point. I didn't address the degree to which liberals have been a part of government. Nor whether they were financial-economic libs or merely social libs or a combination. The media, arts and academic fields have been dominated by libs for much of the 40 or so years you refer to. Mostly b/c that's where a lot of those people went after leaving school. Thus much of the commentary you saw reflected that. Now with the internet and cable you get a more diverse airing of views, political or otherwise, in this country.

So......did the "liberal" party hacks you subscribe to send you talking points to regurgitate ;)