I have a bit of a wild question, which doesn’t have any real practical significance–I’m really just curious.
I know that there is an specific issur of performing the action of bowing to Temunos and Avodah Zarah. However, there is no issur of bowing when it is toward another person and is a matter of respect, like in Japanese culture.
My question is as follows: the Japanese believe that the Emperor descends from their sun-god. As such, the Emperor can be either viewed as a deity, or at the very least divinely anointed. If this is the case, would there be an issue of bowing? The traditional Japanese bow is a simple matter of respect, like shaking hands in American culture, but in this case the bow may be towards someone who may be perceived on some level as a demigod. Would it be assur is such a case?
Thank you for your insight.
The Japanese Emperor is not viewed as being a deity or god of any kind. He is rather viewed as having very prestigious lineage and being the spiritual leader of the nation. Bowing to him in the common way is not seen as any form of worship, only as respect which is permitted.