4/14/2006

Bowing Deeply

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bowing deeply -
the elephant talks
to the ant







Well,
for the Japanese, bowing is a serious matter, not to be taken lightly !

Bowing too deeply will only earn you that secretive smile on a Japanese face, knowing you are again on your hen na gaijin trip, you are just a silly foreigner imitating things you do not know the proper background of.

Employees starting at a company get lessons in bowing, how many degrees in which situation, how long, where to place your hands, how to fold at your hips, how to bend (or not bend) your neck and so on...

When I started learning Japanese Archery (kyuudoo 弓道 ) 30 years back, the first thing sensei tought us was proper bowing. Believe me, it takes some lessons and a lot of muscle ache until you even master the basics.

Later I took lessons with the Ogasawara School of Good Behaviour (小笠原流作法), learning more of bowing for the tea ceremony and other occasions. I still pracitce my bowing every day now ... Doing it in a seated position is even more difficult than standing, believe me.

At most shrines there are illustrated signs of how to properly bow to the gods. (I will take a photo next time.)

最初に二度深くおじぎをします。次に二度柏手(かしわで)を打ち、最後にもう一度深くおじぎをします。
(その際には始めと終わりに軽くおじぎをするとより丁寧です。)


Ogasawara School / English Page

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Here are some LINKS about bowing in Japan

Japanese Etiquette
Bowing (ojigi) is a very important custom in Japan. Japanese people bow all the time. Most commonly, they greet each other by bowing instead of handshaking. It is impolite not to return a bow to whoever bowed to you.
Japanese people tend to become uncomfortable with any physical forms of contact. But they became used to shaking hands with westerners.

Bowing has many functions in one. It expresses the feeling of respect, thanking, apologizing, greeting, and so on.

© About Japan

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo



Also of importance is the degree of inclination.
The farther forward on inclines, the more reverence one shows to the other. For instance, an entry level employee may bow forward 45 degrees from the waist while the Manager perhaps just 10 degrees. A sales person would bow lower than the customer as the gentlemen in this sales call is doing.

®1999 - 2002 gate 39 Media

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

Wikipedia

Bows, called o-jigi, o-rei or rei, are the traditional greeting in Japan.

For bowing in China, see Kowtow.

The Wikipedia has all the details !)

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

At Meiji Shrine, Tokyo



The way that worshipers pray in different sects of Shinto vary, but the common etiquette to be observed when praying at a shrine is to bow twice, clap your hands twice, pray and then bow once more. Bowing is a way of showing trust to the gods.

© Meiji Shrine in Tokyo


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6 comments:

. Gabi Greve said...

冬の日や残る紅葉におじぎする

late winter sun -
a deep bow down to
the last red leaves


Bowing Deeply, the Facts !
Gabi Greve

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Gabi san.
Now, I see the difference between "deep bow" and "deep bow down".

Happy to learn!

Sincerely,
D.M., USA

Anonymous said...

wow,, very inspiring. It came to mind how God , the great bowed down to talk to his people by sending the Lord Jesus.
GBU dearest sis.

Rita
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/simply_haiku/message/17084

Anonymous said...

こんばんわ。葵です。さすがGabi さん。小笠原流を学ばれたんですね。すごく尊敬します。剣道や居合いの正座は膝と膝の間隔を握りこぶし一握り分とします。あまり開けすぎて急所を狙われることを避けるためです。
でも日本人は頭を下げることがすきなんでしょうか。携帯電話をかけながらお辞儀している人をよくみますが。

facebook said...

Angelo Ancheta :

bowing
in silence
a ceasefire

Pedro Teixeira da Mota. said...

Nice article...
... Bowing is humbleness, is to become open to the blessings of the others and sharing our deep respect, gratitude or love...