Where are they?
When I was in LA,
I saw many Japanese people everyday.
As I shopped in the Japanese supermarket,
“Am I in Japan?”
But here in Maryland, I only have one Japanese girlfriend.
I asked her,
“Have you seen any Japanese people?”
“Rarely in Baltimore, but I saw Japanese businessmen in DC area.”
“How did you know that they were Japanese? They could have been Chinese or Korean.”
“They were absolutely Japanese because…”
“Because… they were bowing on the street.”
“I am sure that they were Japanese even though I saw them from far distance because they bowed. ”
“I know what you mean because only Japanese bow.”
It may look funny from western eyes, but we Japanese have bowing custom.
Japanese people bow again and again as a way of showing respect to others.
So, business people bow to their clients or people bow to someone who is older.
Students bow to the teachers, children bow to their parents or grandparents in some families.
It is hard for Japanese people to change this cultural life habit even though they have lived in the US for a long time. I don’t think Chinese people or Korean people have the same bowing custom we have.
“OK, I believe there are some Japanese people in DC area.”
As I finish talking with her, I said good bye to her.
“SOREDEWA SHITSUREI SHIMASU”,
and I bowed to the phone and hung up.
I realized that I am really Japanese!
Here are some descriptions about the JAPANESE BOWING CUSTOM.
I hope you understand, and perhaps you will laugh.