Obama’s bow to emperor pisses off conservatives


Some conservatives are pissed off that President Obama bowed at the emperor and empress during his visit to Japan this week. I’m not sure I agree with them. I think they might be thinking of the bow as a subservient gesture, whereas it should probably best be interpreted as the standard form of formal greeting in Japan, much like the handshake in America.


11 thoughts on “Obama’s bow to emperor pisses off conservatives

  1. Some conservatives would seem to be peeved if he saved a puppy from a burning building. Crazy.
    I think that showing the proper respect within the culture is the right way to approach greetings. It’s what you’re expected to do as a polite representative of our country.

  2. Based on what I see in the picture above, Obama did break protocol in one simple way: He’s bowing WHILE shaking hands. The President and the Emperor should have bowed to each other, then shaken hands if it was deemed necessary. Doing both is, at best, a breech of etiquette that can appear disingenuous.

  3. I applaud Obama for attempting bowing, as I hear that it’s pretty difficult to master the whole ‘when to bow, how low to bow’ etc. thing.
    It’s not like Bush would have done it, and if he did, he would have found a way to mess it up.

  4. It continues to baffle me that politicians are constantly angry over our president showing respect to other world leaders. Obama didn’t do anything more than attempt to show respect.

  5. first of all i am an american,i will bow to no one.therefore i do not autharise any elected leader of my country to do so.my country does not need to show respect to any country,it has done battle with.and for those that think other wise,then you should think about moving to a different place.if everybody is in the pursuit of the truth,like they claim,then lets water board the jews,and the catholics.the truth will then be evident.

  6. This is standard protocol in Japan and is shown as a sign of respect. I live in Tokyo and anyone who knows anything about Japanese culture knows this is just the way things are done here.
    A lot of people are bellyaching about this because its Obama but I would like to point out a few other presidents that bowed and no one seems to be making a big deal about them:
    1971 – Richard Nixon bowed to Emperor Hirohito (who attacked the US at Pearl Harbor) on US soil.
    1959 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower bows to French President Charles de Gaulle.
    George Bush (double header)
    Bowing to the Pope.
    AND Kissing his best buddies the Saudies (who attacked us on 911)
    If people want to hate on Obama they are going to have to do better than this and at least do some homework before they push this farse of a non-issue.

  7. My only beef is what däch mentioned. Bow then shake…
    It just looks awkward otherwise.
    Also, to me, looks like the emperor is bowing as well.

  8. …. This is why Melvin has 54 friends.
    Anyway, I had to sit through a 15 minute lecture from my Japanese teacher about how much the Japanese people liked Obama trying to show respect. There must be some good! I see no harm! We’re slowly withdrawing from the “American Fucktard” stereotype.

  9. respect and humility are both something we need to show not only to the rest of the world but also to other Americans. this whole crap of “i bow to no one” simply shows that ur insecure. showing respect doesn’t mean that ur weak and is not a good measure of military or economic power. what IS a good measure of that is well… how much military or economic power u have. u can bet that these same people who “bow to no one” are also the close minded people who come up with or hear an idea, take it as fact, won’t change their mind about it and won’t do actual research to decide for themselves whether something is good idea or not.