I am, of course, *loving* how US conservatives are going crazy over Obama’s bowing to the Japanese Emperor. How dare he show respect to the titular leader of a foreign country?! Never mind how W walked hand-in-hand with the Saudi Arabian royal petro dealers or cozied up perched on their arm rests.
Obama playing nice in Japan and currying favor in Chinese signals a shift from the aggressive unilateralism into a new era where the US must please and satisfy the purchasers of our ballooning Treasury debt. The sexual undertones add to the political realignment of new roles and possibilities.
As others have noted, Obama was poorly prepared for his meeting with Japanese leaders. You do not bow while hand-shaking. It is either/or, or at the least bow-then-shake.
Visiting a major shrine in Tokyo, I decided to stop and read some of the wishes written on wooden placards. I had thought they would all be about love and world peace. Of course, many are, but some are hilarious. Not sure if it’s bad to read others’ wishes, but they are public and I could not help myself.
Here are some of the best ones in English. Above: “I want a BMW 3 Series with real leather seats and a Bose sounds system and a GPS nav. system with a cute Japanese girl voice and seat warmers so my butt stays warm in the winter.”
“Simon has clear direction in his life and is determined to be + stay debt free with a house that owns . . . . He understands that it is all down to him– go for it tree!!!”
“Wish my daughter Linting (?) come to her senses + break away from Dario completely and never see him again. Wish good health, safe . . . Heal me + let me live a long healthy happy life.”
Below is what all the cards called ema in Japanese look like underneath the giant tree.
More wish cards after the jump.