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A popular meme says the teachers in Japan don't have to bow in front of the Emperor and that's because without teachers there would be no emperor.
Since my understanding of the whole bowing system in Japan is that it's not something required by law, but it's just a way to show respect; no one in Japan HAS to bow in front of anyone. So I interpret it to mean "If a teacher does not bow in front of the Emperor, it is not being rude; it's a custom."

Is this a real custom?


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Many Japanese teachers are left-wing anti-imperialists, and some refuse to sing the national anthem, for instance. Not bowing to the Emperor would be another obvious protest which may have morphed into the meme above. I'm not sure how to prove the negative, though - etiquette guides not having an exception for teachers is not sufficient evidence, for example? –  Ken Y-N Feb 24 '14 at 8:31
Yes, of course. –  Geeo Feb 24 '14 at 10:07

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