Japan Obama Asia
U.S. President Barack Obama bows as he is greeted by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko as he arrives at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009.
———–AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

I knew from the moment I saw this picture that the right was going to go crazy at the President showing respect for the Emperor.

This is a good article about it.

From City Brights:Zennie Abraham

President Obama’s bow to Emperor of Japan and racism in media

Aside from “Miley Cyrus dead”, which is not true or funny, the Internet’s abuzz with media commentary on President Obama’s bow to The Emperor and Empress of Japan upon his visit Saturday.

The LA Times’ blog asked “How low will he go” in their complaint of the President’s actions. ABC News’ Jack Tapper contacted a friend to ask if Obama’s bow was correct. The conservative blog HotAir said the President looked like “an idiot” and referred to Tapper’s blog. And of course Michelle Malkin can be counted on to offer her off-base and typically nasty view, calling the President a “waterboy.”

I don’t know why some are surprised or for that matter angry about Obama’s actions. It’s not the first time President Obama’s bowed to a foreign dignitary, and I think it shows the proper level of respect. There seems to be this macho idea that American Presidents have to show they’re tough and one way to do that is to avoid bowing to the Emperor of Japan, or for that matter Saudi King Abdullah, as President Obama did in April of this year.

Moreover, some Americans forget that kings and emperors are not elected officials, they’re royalty. But in this, I have to point out a racial component to the conservative argument against Obama’s bow to Japan’s Emperor that’s disturbing to me.

When Obama visited the Queen of England, much was made of what the protocol was for approaching Her Majesty. President Obama did bow slightly to her, but that was what he was supposed to do as one is to avoid overt gestures; a man is suppose to bow his head from the neck, and no more. That’s what Obama did.

That fact escaped a number of people, particularly the Coach Potato Conservative “Freepers” over at Free Republic, who claim that Obama did not bow at all.

But Obama’s correct “slight head nod” versus his full bow to King Abdullah was noted in this video, by CQBlogger on YouTube, but even then CQBlogger mistakenly wrote about the head nod as if Obama was in error; the President was not.

And the LA Times showed its total ignorance of Japanese culture, not even taking time to explain “bow” protocol in Japan, which I know all too well from my personal interest in Japanese Culture and visit to Japan.

There are three kinds of bows: the first is just about five degrees and is a greeting for friends; the second is about 10 degrees and is for a boss or senior in business; but the third one is at a full 15 degrees and is reserved for heads of state or The Emperor.

Obama’s 15 degree bow to The Emperor of Japan was correct.

Rest of article at link above.

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