Ok, let's dispense with the silliness of which the left will go to explain away Obama's bow.
Witness. ABC's Jake Tapper.
"An old friend -- an academic with expertise about the Japanese Empire, and in general a supporter of President Obama -- sends me the following note, relating to photographs of President Obama bowing to Emperor Akihito of Japan.
"This picture shows two things," my friend writes. "1) The 'right' is wrong about Obama's bow. "2) The 'left' is wrong about Obama's bow.
"His bow is neither (1) unprecedented nor (2) a sign of cultural understanding.
"At their 1971 meeting in Alaska, the first visit of a Japanese Emperor to America, President Nixon bowed and referred to Emperor Hirohito and his wife repeatedly as 'Your Imperial Majesties.'"
The picture of Nixon is one of "bowing", but leaning and yes the two are completely different. God, if the left have to dig back nearly 40 years to find a "Republican example", you know they're desperate.
I have no idea of who Tapper's "friend is", but I'll wager I have more experience in my little finger than he.
After all I've lived with Korean/Japanese wife for 26 years, and lived for many years in the orient, and I'm not only familiar the custom of bowing, I actually do it from time to time. A bow can mean many things to the oriental way. However Obama's bow was "to the earth" with his eyes looking downward.
My wife gasped when she saw it, "It's a signal of defeat" she continued.
Thus the two events aren't even close in gaffes, and we can officially call this one of the greatest gaffes of Presidential history.