Eshaku Bowing Analysis

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Ricky and Lucy whileLucy while dealing for the first time with a Japanese way of respectful greeting – eshaku bowing.

It is a traditional way of greeting and expressing respect in many Asian countries, as well in some religious settings. In Japan, bowing is a extremely important culture feature, mostly used to greet, thank and apologize. There are three basic levels of bending:
Eshaku – the greeting bow, polite bow
Keirei – the respect bow
Saikeirei – the deep respect bow
Dogeza – dedicated to the most highly respected person

Picutre 2 – Japanese manner: bowing

Jack is greeting with Japanese officials, this is an example of how not to bend. Jack is standing too close to proper bend, with an incorrect eye contact. His eye gazed should
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Rick and Lucy about taking shoes off:
Lucy: Oh, of course, everyone in Japan has to take their shoes off before entering the room!
Ricky: Oh yes, this country has pretty crazy customs!

Picture 6 – Japanese house arrangement

Ricky discovers that he has to sit and sleep on the floor, which is normal in Japan, he could not understand the reason of that proceedings. Then, Lucy answers, That’s simple! You just think oriental.
Quite similar words are said in Shogun, when a Japanese geisha Mariko is teaching the main character how to speak Japanese. Blackthorne is confused, explaining that the lesson is too difficult to learn. Then, Mariko says To understand Japanese, you have to think Japanese. Our language is a language that is infinite. It is all so simple, Anjin-san. Such words may indicate how different is the culture and the way of thinking. It is also a hint considering that one’s must adapt while visiting new place and culture.

Picture 7 – A cross-cultural meeting Picture 8 – Japanese table
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3.5. Common Japanese honorifics
There is a broad part of Japanese honorifics that can be attached as a suffix to someone’s name while referring or talking to the person. They are used not only to show respect, but also they refer to a social status, rank, relationship and feelings toward other person. Referring to someone and dropping a honorific or title, is called yobisute, and is regarded to be extremely impolite and rude even when used towards family or close friends. This is a common mistake among foreigners. Some of them can be roughly compared to Western “Mrs.” “Mr.” or “Sir”. What is interesting, there are far more Japanese honorifics which offers different meanings and purpose than in any other language in the world.
One of the often used and most common Japanese honorifics and their definitions are following:

Table 1. Common Japanese honorifics (After Okamoto, Shibamoto-Smith 2016: 169)
Honorific Meaning Example

San
さん The most commonly used, similar to Western “Mr.”, “Mrs.”, “Miss”. Used towards a person with equal/same social status. Can be attached to a person or object. Jack-san, (Mr. Jack)
Gaijin-san,
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