When you're sorry for something you've done to someone else in Japan, and a simple "I'm sorry" is not enough, you bow. That's how you apologize. The sorrier you are, the lower you bow. But if no matter how low you bow your apology doesn't get accepted, what do you do?

"Dogeza" is the term for getting on your knees and bowing. When necessary, you bow low enough until your forehead touches the ground. It is a sign of the most sincere apology, usually in deference to someone of higher rank or status. Sometimes, it can be to someone who's an equal to show how serious you are and how desperate you are to be forgiven. So if a sincere dogeza isn't enough, is forgiveness out of the question? Apparently not!

Check out some footage from the recent "Dogeza Olympics." For individual bowing, there's the "Jumping Dogeza," the "Sliding Dogeza," the "Drill Dogeza," and the "Front Dive Roll Dogeza." If just apologizing doesn't suffice, you can always apologize as a team. The "Wave Dogeza" allows you to apologize over and over again. The "Pyramid Dogeza" shows your sincerity, as this can't be done without hours of practice and preparation.

And finally, for those times when who you want to apologize first to prevent the other person from getting the satisfaction of apologizing, there's the "Block Dogeza." You get on the ground and block the other's insincere dogeza by getting in position quicker and bowing deeper than him or her.

If all this still doesn't bring you forgiveness, I don't know what will.




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