Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Turning Japanese?

This evening I was talking on the phone (in Japanese), and I noticed that my daughter was pointing at me and laughing. When I was finished I asked her what she thought was so funny.

"You looked like ji-chan (grandpa) while you were talking. Every time you said "thank you" you bowed. Why do you bow when you're talking on the phone!? It looks really funny!"

"I was NOT bowing on the telephone!"

"Yes you were. I saw it. You did it 4 times!"



  1. I smile, noticing that spending only a week abroad in a more civilized (than America) place, i am prove to bowing to others - not on the phone however. I think this is lovely! So were your photos from Yukushima, by the way.

  2. I was talking to a colleague yesterday and I realised that I was waving my arms about as I was describing something to her. Mobile phones just encourage our inner craziness.

  3. Susan,
    Thanks. I don't know if bowing is any more civilized than shaking hands, but it's easier to do on the phone!

    I guess you'd have to spend a bit of time here to know how frequently the Japanese bow. It's ingrained, and yeah, many of them (unconsciously) do it while talking on the phone. So do I, apparently...!

  4. We have a lot of Japanese students at the school. After many awkward holding my hand out for just a little too long, I have learnt to bow. But not too low, because they have to bow lower right?

  5. Michele,
    Technically, one in a lower "position" should bow lower (and not complete the bow until his/her "superior" has). My bow is really not much more than a nod with a slight bending at the waist. Kinda like the lazy salutes you see officers give in old war movies!