Sunday, December 31, 2006

12 minutes after 6 o' clock...


new years is probably the biggest holiday in japan, and it is a time not only to be with family; but also to visit those who are important in one’s life. when greeting one's elders it is still important to show them the proper respect.

I found these images in yesterday's kobe newspaper. it would seem that some of japan’s oldest customs are slipping away; and after 60 plus years of embracing western culture, japan's younger generations either don’t know the customs, or have forgotten the proper ways to practice them.

these photos were used to illustrate an article on the proper method of bowing, just in time for new years greetings. of course, one would expect to see such things in a travel guide or roland barthes empire of signs; but it was a little surprising to find them in the morning paper.

i really like how they equate the body angles with different times on a clock. essentially, one should keep one's feet firmly planted at 6 o’clock, with head moving from 5 minutes past the hour to the position of utmost respect at 12 minutes past the hour. remember when bowing to a person older than you, to keep the position longer than the person you are offering respect to...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

well you can consider my bow to you longer than yours to me since you are my elder. and have some fun while you are at it

7:57 AM  
Blogger bloggsy said...

what if you are bowing to the person behind you as well? does that then become 5:48?

3:28 PM  

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