Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: the business end of a CAD station.
Etiquette wise, it's pretty standard to bow first and then shake hands. Particularly when you're on turf that bowing is standard.
If you're on turf where handshakes are standard, you're more likely to see them bow and shake hands at the same time. But being as he's a religious figure and not a political one I think it'd be standard to bow first.
If I was him I'd have bowed to the Emporer. To the Prime Minister of Japan I'd do the handshake while bowing routine.
You can see he's actually doing the handshake while bowing routine which is kinda going both ways, it's not standard Japanese etiquette to shake hands. You'll note also tho that Barry's bowing lower than Akihito.
That said I haven't had a toooon of etiquette training on this, there was a course I took in school about this kinda shit tho.
Just as some FYI tho guys, Emperor Akihito is a hell of a figure, this guy was a teenager during the firebombings of Tokyo and the nuke attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even as that shit was going on tho he made sure he was taught western customs and languages, and in his lifetime Japan went from an isolated island at war with China, to being involved obviously in WW2 and all kinds of war crimes, to being one of the biggest exporting nations in the world. I mean to put it in perspective, at the time he grew up, trade in and out of Japan was EXTREMELY limited. Like basicly just guns and battleships coming in for steel going out.
Obviously in his time their economy has exploded, and since the surrender, the role of the emperor has changed massivly. His dad Showa(like the shocks) was pope/christ's second coming/king of the fucking world all rolled into one. Now he's pretty much just the pope. Which still isn't a bad deal but Akihito took it really well and worried a lot more about the opinions of the people and making sure they know what's going on than about running the place. It's not often that a King turns over control to the people and doesn't bitch.
So ya, I'd have bowed and I wouldn't have shaken hands while i was doing it, if only as a "thanks for helping put WW2 behind us and allowing both of our countries to move on from that."
HAIL TO THE KING!!
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