Dogeza Bow

Dogeza is the polite way of bowing in Japan. It is performed when a person asks for deep apology, express desire for a favor, evince overwhelming gratitude, and to show deference to highly revered elite people. Thus this type of bowing rarely happens, only on special situations or occasions.

In Japan, Special Needs children having different needs or attention or treatment are gathered in one room. Varying from agoraphobia, anger disorder, autism, ADHD, slow learner, speaking and listening problem, and etc. Name any child disorders and it falls to 4kumi or 5kumi as they categorized it at school. Don’t you think it’s crazy? How can the Japanese teachers accommodate the needs of the children with different disabilities ranging from physical, emotional, and psychological? As far as I know they’re not psychologist nor a graduate in medical field. The kind of education system really puzzled me.

Four days ago I had a class with my Special Needs children in one of my schools. Among my three schools this school has a quite number of special needs children. As always we ended our lesson with high spirits. With so much energy, overflowing laughters, fun, and happiness. But when the home room teacher announced that it was our last lesson of the school year the kids happy faces turned sour and sad. Different reactions flooded for they want to learn more. “Motto yarittai”, they’ve uttered.

Yume chan was asked by the HRT to lead the class to give the final words. To my surprised Yume chan performed the Dogeza bow while saying thank you for teaching us for two great years. And the rest of the children followed her gesture. It wasn’t just I who was shocked but also the HRTs. I couldn’t contain my mixed emotions of happiness and sadness. In my subconscious I asked, am I worthy enough for their bow? I was teary eyed. I really wanted to give them my Bear Hug to let them know that their simple act meant to me and greatly appreciated but I just couldn’t for I am prohibited to do so.

I will miss them for sure.