A Westerner probably won’t notice the sophisticated use of the bow in Japanese culture.
There are four bows, each with a different meaning.
The simplest, at an angle of five degrees, means “good day.”
A bow of fifteen degrees is more formal and means “good morning.”
As an appreciation of a kind gesture the angle is thirty degrees, while the most extreme, a bow of forty-five degrees, conveys deep respect or an apology.
During a recent five-year period, twenty-four residents of Tokyo died while bowing to each other.
And there you have the various subtleties hidden in the Japanese custom of bowing.