July 28, 2004

The Tao Of Bow

Q:
Have you become familiar with the subtle nuances of bowing? And is it any different for a guy as tall as you?

A:
Ah yes, bowing is indeed a funny thing. However, thanks to a certain movie, starring a certain large, yellow bird, given to me by a certain sister, I have learned some helpful hints when it comes to the art of bowing.

So far, our time in Japan has yet to lead us into a situation where bowing is expected, so I am still unsure as to the accuracy of my knowledge in these circumstances. Nevertheless, I do use bowing as a means of saying 'thank you' when the words just don't seem to be enough. It can be very difficult to sound appreciative when you can't speak the language, so I tend to bow... not too far, but far enough... to really get the point across. In Big Bird In Japan, we learned that the further you bow, the more respectful it is. So, if you are meeting someone at their home, a really deep bow is in order (not so far that you flip over like Big Bird), but if you're just saying "thanks for the soda" to a convenience store clerk, a minor tip of the head works just fine. Surprisingly, the height issue is not really a concern with bowing in these minor sutuations, but if the time ever comes and I really have to bend over, it might very well hurt my back resulting in a grunt or a hesitation, which is more than likely something very offensive and will ultimately backfire.

Speaking of saying thank you, there are three different ways which are also labelled by their formality.

Domo meaning 'thanks'

Domo Arigato meaning thanks a lot

Domo Arrigato Gozaimasu meaning thank you very much

These phrases may be a little less than exact, but it's how I was told the basic structures for thank you work. Typically, I say 'arigato' which is somewhere in the middle of domo and domo arigato, while giving a slight head nod. So far, it seems to work just fine.

So then,

Domo Arigato Big Bird! Mapputatsuni hiki sakuwayo!

Till next time,

Godspeed!

Posted by jed at July 28, 2004 03:07 PM
Comments

domo arigato for my gelato... i mean, for answering my question. Next... Do you have your Super Dollfie yet? Or some other crazy Japanese toy? Like, what is up with that crazy noodle mascot that looks like a weapon?

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