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here, well introduce the main types of bows you should know and explain step-by-step how to perform them. Why bow at all? Its believed that bowing in japan started sometime during the asuka and nara periods (538-794 ad) with the introduction of chinese buddhism. According to those teachings, bowing was a direct reflection of statusif you. The most popular type of bow in japan occurs in business or transactional situations, and is done at a 30-degree angle. Its usually intended to greet customers or to thank someone. A more formal way of bowing is performed at a 45-degree angle looking down at your feet. Knowing when to bow in japan and the right way to bow can seem daunting for first-time visitors, particularly because bowing isnt very common in western culture. Meanwhile, bowing comes naturally for japanese people who typically begin learning the important etiquette from a young age. The japanese bow is an important feature of the culture, and there is a lot of meaning in its usage. Japanese culture places heavy emphasis on respect, and bowing is one of the primary ways that people in japan show respect to other people. japanese is my native language born and raised in ibaraki (countryside japan) ft. Yumi is the japanese term use for traditional asymmetrical japanese bows. There are different kinds of bows and each of these has a specific purpose. Shorter bows were used to practice kyudo and kyujutsu or japanese archery. This was an important weapon used by samurai warriors during feudal japan. chinese custom how to kowtow how to bow - and when to use them - duration 625. 14 reasons you should bow in japan posted by john spacey , july 08, 2009 updated on july 24, 2014 bowing in japan may be used as a greeting, introduction, show of respect or apology.