I view President Barack Obama’s bowing and shaking hands simultaneously as more of an insult to the Emperor than an act of groveling. A proper bow is not a difficult thing to do. If done properly, it pays deep respect to the one being bowed to and displays self-respect.
It seems that the United States has no protocol savvy when it comes to dealing with the Japanese and Asia as a whole. I was born and raised in Japan and remember well the times I went to see the Emperor Showa wave to his public on his birthday. I even felt the Emperor Showa was my emperor as he was, in my humble opinion, a great benefactor to the Japanese.
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