Well, this is America, buster, and we don't believe in that "emperor" bulls hit. Hence, the stir. Interestingly, the primary complaint seems to be that the president bowed to the emperor.
Prepare for another bowing controversy. A photo of President Obama bowing to Japanese Emperor Akihito has surfaced, and it's likely to set off critics on the right—as happened when Obama maybe sorta bowed to the king of Saudi Arabia in April. This time, there's no question about it: It's a deep, deferential bow to the 76-year-old Akihito and his wife, notes the LA Times.
Drudge is playing it prominently, and a blogger at Power Line is on the case: The bow "is of a piece with the substance of his foreign policy. He means to teach Americans to bow before monarchs and tyrants. ... He gives expressive form to the idea that the United States now willingly prostrates itself before the rest of the world."
Except, of course, that the president is clearly leaning forward so that he can hock a loogie at the emperor's shoes.
Here is the image in question:
I admit it's difficult to make out, owing to the exceptional clarity of Obama's saliva. For that reason, I ran the picture through a filter in photoshop. Here's what came out:
Do you see it? In case you don't, I circled the projectile fluid, captured in its downward trajectory:
I have it on very good authority that spitting on someone is, unlike in America, considered to be quite an insult in Japan. In fact, it's the subject of a famous haiku:
Spitting on someone
Is a very high insult
In Japan's culture.
So, far from showing American prostration, Obama's gesture is actually an expression of American aggression against the very idea of royalty.