Xu Wenfung wrote:
I am Chinese, and I don't bow (in normal everyday activities anyway) and I have not heard of the above saying, maybe it is Japanese. The Chinese civilisation did bow/kowtow but then such practice became arcane since circa 1920; eversince China underwent a huge change in management (i.e. overthrowing of the Imperial Ching dynasty and founding of the Republic of China).
Just a piece of cultural policing.
Well, I was obviously misinformed. I once read the phrase above to be a Chinese proverb. I am aware of the recent Chinese history but I suspect the proverb is of an older date.
I find the proverb, be it Chinese or Japanese or whatever, very enlightening.
Nevertheless, I stand corrected and am much obliged for your insight. Thank you!