Monday, November 16, 2009

Ill Mannered People

Some crazy, rude, Amerika-jin who were raised by wolves Wingnut-estadoünidense are very much worked-up about an incident which occurred during President Obama's visit to Japan. President Obama, who was raised correctly and actually has manners, unlike his predecessor, actually bowed when he met Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. Mister Dick "Watta Dick" Cheney's daughter, Girly Dick Liz, pointed out that her father didn't bow when HE met the Emperor, but since he is a World Class AS***le Republican, it's no big surprise. I feel that I must point out to my nationalistic brothers and sisters that bowing is normal in Japan, and there is a Certain Bow that everyone who is not a rude dips**t performs when meeting the Emperor (who is descended from the Sun God, for goodness sakes, so you should really behave!).

I lived on the island of Okinawa until I was sixteen years of age and the Lovely Mona swears that I am Japanese deep inside. I'll share a story with you (like you could stop me!): When I was a Purchasing Agent for Watkins-Johnson Company in Scotts Valley, California, waaaaaay back in the late 1980's and early 1990's, I was asked to speak with a vendor in Japan on the telephone. My nihon-go was still pretty good in those days (it has since been supplanted by español; I am unable to keep more than two and a half languages in my bald head at a time. I still understand nihon-go, but I respond en español. But I digress. . .). So I had a nice conversation with our vendor in Japan and straightened everything out. When I hung up the telephone and started to walk out of the office, my boss asked, "What was going on there?" I asked him what he meant and he said, "You were bowing like crazy! That guy couldn't see you, you know!"

A well mannered young man ALWAYS bows when in a Japanese context, while an ill-mannered person vomits on the shoes of the Japanese Prime Minister. That's just the way it goes. . .

13 comments:

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Exactly...I spent years, literally (five months at a time) working in Japan...Emperor or no Emperor it was a joy to be amongst such civilized and well mannered people (sometimes so well mannered they didn´t know how to say NO when saying NO was important to the client).

A deep bow (that is the standard, how deep is your bow? AND when do you STOP as it´s very polite to be last bower as you back away).

Now I want Soba noodles.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Padre, I'm reporting you for the use of bad language. You're a priest, after all.

I speak a very little Spanish and a little French, and teensy, weensy bit of Italian, but I find myself getting the languages mixed up. If I can't think of the Spanish word, the French word pops out. I don't know how folks speak seven languages and keep them all straight.

Is bowing while speaking on the phone mandatory?

Leonardo Ricardo said...

My favorite Japaneese word is

DOEZOE (did I spell it right in English)...anyway, Padre, I bet you use it a lot in Spanish...you´re a very hospitable kind of guy/padre.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Padre---have I told you lately how much I love you?

Doxy

Tara Mobley said...

Grandmere, I don't think that bowing on the phone is mandatory, but I've heard that it isn't unusual. It's like gesticulating when saying certain things in certain contexts; you'll find yourself doing it even when you can't be seen.

I find myself using "Abunai yo!" sometimes with Evie. It is probably the single Japanese phrase I can use easily without thinking.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I was wondering when someone was going to bring up George sr's upchuck.

Seriously, this whole brouhaha makes me want to upchuck. Your perspective on it is helpful. And I love the phone story.

Fred Schwartz said...

i spent 10 days in Japan back in 1969 and as a dumba** Marine I knew that.

susan s. said...

And can you believe it? Eisenhower bowed to de Gaulle! The nerve of that man!

Mary Sue said...

Bowing on the phone is not mandatory, but as I'm sure Padre can attest, when you are speaking a language and thinking in a language, you tend to use the same cultural mannerisims. For example, I talk a lot more with my hands when I'm speaking Italian. When I'm speaking Japanese, I bow and cover my mouth when giggling which is what a proper Japanese woman does. I also tend to be a lot less forceful and more deferrential when I'm speaking and thinking in Japanese because that is culturally expected of women in Japan and I learned Japanese in a class focused more on proper business etiquitte.

I can think of at least seven or eight people off the top of my head who wish I'd think in Japanese more often, but I live and work in America, dude, if I'm speaking American English, you're getting the no-holds-barred, glass-ceiling shattering, broken giveadamn, no excuse-taking American Woman.

Word verification: unizan, which I believe is something I ate in Japan once...

Paul said...

Ike bowing to a Frenchman! Scandalous, Susan. I need some Freedom fries to recover from the shock.

Margaret Benbow said...

So Cheney's daughter Liz proudly points out that her dad didn't bow when HE met the Emperor. I think as Americans we should all feel grateful to Cheney for abstaining from shooting the Emperor in the face and chest while drunk on his ass.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Tara and Margaret, thanks for the clarification on bowing during phone conversations. I don't even know why I asked, because I'm not likely to have a phone conversation in Japanese. That's a non-starter for me.

WV: "tangific". It's not a word, but it should be, as in "Padre, you're tangific!"

David |Dah • veed| said...

Slight clarification; the Emperor is descended from the Sun goddess! Her name is Amaterasu (天照), which means "that which illuminates the heavens." She is the source from which all light emanates.

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