picture of the day

Billion-dollar bow

29 Comments

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, left, bows to Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda, second left, Yoshiro Mori, second right, president of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Toyota President and CEO Akio Toyoda during a press conference in Tokyo, on Friday. Toyota signed on as a worldwide Olympic sponsor Friday in a long-term deal reportedly worth nearly $1 billion. See story here.

© Japan Today

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

29 Comments
Login to comment

,Poor taste calling it that. The man is just trying to show some cultural understanding and manners.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Reminds me of when Obama bowed to the Japanese Emperor. People were saying "America doesn't bow to anyone!"... Grow up.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Yep poor taste title however the guy knows that the cheques he receives wont bounce!

Given the lack of interest in putting on winter Olympics are the summer games that for behind in the apathy department!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

In Japan, receive money and bow deeply.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Do not bite the hand that feeds!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Bowing is such a demeaning action; never felt comfortable doing it in Japan.

-12 ( +3 / -14 )

Bowing is such a demeaning action

It isn't seen as a demeaning action in Japan; more of a respectful action.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Bowing is such a demeaning action; never felt comfortable doing it in Japan.

It's as demeaning as shaking someone's hand, or looking someone in the eyes when you talk to them.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Funny! The origins of bowing came from allowing a samurai to cut your head off!

Money talks and BS walks! If someone agreed to give me a billion dollar deal I'd be doing more than just bowing!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"Thanks for billion bucks. And we'll over look those nuclear details."

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

StrangerlandMAR. 14, 2015 - 01:52PM JST Bowing is such a demeaning action; never felt comfortable doing it in Japan. It's as demeaning as shaking someone's hand, or looking someone in the eyes when you talk to them.

How so? Shaking hands and looking at the other in the eye puts both parties on a level and shows mutual respect, value and trust. Bowing seems to be one person literally 'bowing' down to the other.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Shaking hands and looking at the other in the eye puts both parties on a level and shows mutual respect, value and trust.

Bowing puts both parties on a level, and shows mutual respect, value and trust.

My point is that its arbitrary, you are painting another culture's actions with your own cultural paint brush.

Absolutely nothing wrong with bowing. Much preferable to shaking hands in my opinion, though of course that's just an opinion, not absolute fact.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

'In Japan, receive money and bow deeply.'

If that money turns out to be dodgy, bow even more deeply for the cameras.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bowing is such a demeaning action; never felt comfortable doing it in Japan.

Bowing does not make a person any less of a person for doing it. Understanding the culture would help you understand the people.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Bowing is such a demeaning action; never felt comfortable doing it in Japan.

It strikes me that you probably did not feel comfortable in Japan full stop.

Nothing wrong with bowing at all.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bowing is a show of respect and trust. You expose the top of your head which is the most vulnerable part of the body. For those who disparage, enter a martial art discipline and learn something other than pushing your biased cultural views here.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I generally don't deal with Japanese customers and can enjoy the comedy of watching my coworkers continually bowing to a client as he/she leaves the door. Our old manager holds the record at 13. He looked like bobble head toy. Just a nicety for me and nothing demeaning or sinister. That said, I did feel uncomfortable in a ryokan when the staff member was on her knees with her forehead nearly touching the floor. A bit too much for me.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

impartial justiceMAR. 14, 2015 - 08:47PM JST Bowing is a show of respect and trust. You expose the top of your head which is the most vulnerable part of the body. For those who disparage, enter a martial art discipline and learn something other than pushing your biased cultural views here.

I lived in Japan for 17 years and am married to a Japanese woman. I never said I didn't respect bowing as a cultural aspect of Japan I just felt it demeaning and subservient. Some of my Japanese friends have said they feel the same way.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I never said I didn't respect bowing as a cultural aspect of Japan I just felt it demeaning and subservient.

? So, you are saying you respect something that you feel is demeaning and subservient? You are merely digging a deeper hole for yourself.

Some of my Japanese friends have said they feel the same way.

So? Lots of people think lots of things. That does not make them correct.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

slumdogMAR. 14, 2015 - 09:20PM JST I never said I didn't respect bowing as a cultural aspect of Japan I just felt it demeaning and subservient. ? So, you are saying you respect something that you feel is demeaning and subservient? You are merely digging a deeper hole for yourself. Some of my Japanese friends have said they feel the same way. So? Lots of people think lots of things. That does not make them correct.

I respect it as an aspect of Japanese culture, but for me to bow feels demeaning for me. You know, I'm not making a judgment I'm expressing an experience of how I feel doing something.

I never claimed what I said was 'correct', I'm just saying some people, including myself find bowing demeaning. End of.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I think that's says more about you than it does about bowing.

Just a nicety for me and nothing demeaning or sinister.

I smile at it myself. Even when I'm the one doing it!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You know, I'm not making a judgment I'm expressing an experience of how I feel doing something.

Earlier, you wrote this:

Bowing is such a demeaning action; never felt comfortable doing it in Japan.

It strikes me as extremely judgemental.

I'm just saying some people, including myself find bowing demeaning.

Maybe you are too sensitive. It is merely a sign of respect to others. End of.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

'Maybe you are too sensitive. It is merely a sign of respect to others. End of.'

Maybe you are too serious. Questioning or making fun of your own conventions and those of other countries isn't always a sign of bigotry or a small mind. Many of my Japanese coworkers laughed when I pointed out how many times they bow to customers on the way out. One of them loved the expression 'nodding dog' and loves to tell me he only drops his head sincerely at home in despair when he gets his bills. Not the best joke in the world but a man with a sense of humour.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Maybe you are too serious.

? Was there a joke in what I was responding to, because I did not see it...at all.

Questioning or making fun of your own conventions and those of other countries isn't always a sign of bigotry or a small mind.

Calling another culture demeaning is generally not considered a sign of an open mind.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Mr Toyota has plenty of money for the Olympics, but can't seem to find enough to give his workers good pay raises. Sad, very sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think I understand the point igloobuyer is trying to make. I never feel comfortable bowing either, but not because there is anything wrong with it, more that it is just outside my cultural comfort zone so it feels awkward. Yes, demeaning even, if I paint it with my own cultural brush. But, like igloobuyer Im sure, I do it because I am in Japan and it is what is expected of me. The same way I am sure Japanese in the US will shake hands, but secretly be grossed out by it.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

'Calling another culture demeaning is generally not considered a sign of an open mind.'

We are talking about conventions, not a culture as a whole. I'm baffled by many of the conventions of the country I happened to be born in but I don't think that makes me narrow-minded. The Japanese people I work with tend to have a mind open enough to laugh at and even ridicule some Japanese conventions. I tend to gravitate towards people who don't get so uptight about conventions and be themselves. My favourite coworker is a female Japanese translator who like me rarely turns up for a drink with coworkers and when she does isn't too impressed to say the least with the convention of women pouring beer. Not a woman who hates or ridicules Japanese culture as a whole - she often tells the gaijin in the office to stop 'bleating' about the difficulties of life in Japan ( I've had an earful from her on more than one occasion ). She's the kind of coworker I would actually like to drink with but she doesn't seem to have much time for the convention of drinking with coworkers.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I think the Olympic Official chose Japanse custom of bowing instead of hugg8ng and patting shoulders because he probably knows hugging is still illegal in Japan. Bowing is safe for Japanese men.

About Toyoda, when he donate his own money, Toyoda. When Toyiota doante corporatoon mknney, Toyota. It has been this way when it was Mistsui Toyoda after War. Mitsui made Toyoda independent and renamed Toyota. and very peofirrable. The company does not have cheap laborers as xcomputer used automation create cars. There are technitians special for IT. No laborers/

So it is his family money he is donating. Not corporation income.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We are talking about conventions, not a culture as a whole.

Actually, we are talking about one convention, bowing. One poster called it demeaning. I disagreed. I don't think there is much more to it than that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites