Volumes could be written on this aspect of Japanese etiquette alone. There are many levels that span from just barely cracking your head to full-blown face on the tatami prostration. Age, gender, position in the company and situation all impact the length and depth of the bow.
The bow also has many meanings like, excuse me, thank you, Iím sorry, nice to meet you. Bows are also used to kick-off conversations and to acknowledge someoneís presence.
"SoÖ. What are you trying to say?"
Itís complex and this writing only scratches the surface butÖ
Bow with a straight back and eyes cast downward. Men have have their hands at their sides. Women have their hands in front.If someone bows to you, you return the gesture. To keep things simple and to stay on the safe side, bow slightly longer and slightly deeper than the other.
If you're ready for another serving of Japanese etiquette, click for the low-down on using chopsticks. Etiquette alone won't get you through so take a look at our learn Japanese section for Japanese greetings, and basic grammar. Japanese Etiquette: How to Bow, Etiquette for Eye Contact, Touching and More!