The Parable of the English Businessmen and the Japanese Emperor
Sunday, June 14, 2009 5:56:25 PM
I heard this story from a friend.
At an event he was asked to attend
Certain Japanese dignitaries,
Including his majesty, the Emperor,
Were to be the guests of honour.
Much in evidence at this event,
Were the kind of English businessmen
Who know nothing of Japan, as culture
Or as nation. They picked at canapés
Till the Emperor made his entrance.
Suddenly these same businessmen
Rushed forward in a feeding frenzy,
Vying with each other for the Emperor’s eye
Or a touch of his hand, as he walked by.
Elbowed aside, my friend withdrew,
Sat on a chair at the edge of the room,
Watching as the men in suits fought out the front line,
And lit his cigarette under a no-smoking sign.