George H. W. Bush vomiting incident
The George H.W. Bush vomiting incident occurred on January 8, 1992 around 8:20 p.m. JST
Japan Standard Time
Japan Standard Time or JST is the standard timezone of Japan, and is 9 hours ahead of UTC. For example, when it is midnight in UTC, it is 09:00 in Japan Standard Time. There is no daylight saving time, though its introduction has been debated several times. Japan Standard Time is the same as...

 when U.S. President George H.W. Bush fainted after vomiting at a banquet hosted by the then Prime Minister of Japan, Kiichi Miyazawa
Kiichi Miyazawa
was a Japanese politician and the 78th Prime Minister from November 5, 1991 to August 9, 1993.-Early life and career:Miyazawa was born in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, and graduated from Tokyo Imperial University with a degree in law. In 1942 he joined the Ministry of Finance...



On January 8, 1992 Bush was attending a state event for 135 diplomats held at the home of the Japanese Prime Minister, near the end of the President's 12-day trade-oriented trip through Asia. Earlier that day Bush had played a doubles tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

 match in which the Emperor of Japan
Emperor of Japan
The Emperor of Japan is, according to the 1947 Constitution of Japan, "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people." He is a ceremonial figurehead under a form of constitutional monarchy and is head of the Japanese Imperial Family with functions as head of state. He is also the highest...

is the current , the 125th emperor of his line according to Japan's traditional order of succession. He acceded to the throne in 1989.-Name:In Japan, the emperor is never referred to by his given name, but rather is referred to as "His Imperial Majesty the Emperor" which may be shortened to . In...

 and his son the Crown Prince Naruhito
Naruhito is a male Japanese given name. People named Naruhito include the following:, eldest son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, head of the imperial Kanin-no-miya household , actor and voice actor...

 beat Bush and his partner, a former U.S. ambassador to Japan. Bush had always been "a pretty competitive guy and almost killed himself trying to cover for his lousy doubles partner" on the court.

The incident was widely reported. Like the Jimmy Carter rabbit incident
Jimmy Carter rabbit incident
The Jimmy Carter rabbit incident, dubbed the "killer rabbit" attack by the media, involved a Swamp Rabbit that caught press imagination after swimming toward then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter's fishing boat on April 20, 1979.-Background:...

 that preceded it, the incident quickly became fodder for the nation's comedians. Footage of the President vomiting was broadcast on the ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 network. The incident was also satirized in an episode
Two Bad Neighbors
"Two Bad Neighbors" is the 13th episode of The Simpsons seventh season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 14, 1996. In the episode,the Simpson family is having a garage sale. Right when the sale gets moving, George H. W...

 of The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

, where Bush angrily declares to Homer that he will "ruin you like a Japanese banquet!"

Bush later made comments to the press that he had a 24 hour flu bug.

Effects of the incident

Several years later, Bush was best remembered in Japan for this event. According to the Encyclopedia of political communication, "The incident caused a wave of late night television jokes and ridicule in the international community, even coining Bushu-suru which literally means 'to do the Bush thing'."

About a decade later in January 2001, on the eve of the inauguration of George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, a writer noted the stark disparity between the lives of the now-retired Bush Sr. ("Poppy") and Miyazawa, comparing Bush's vomiting incident with Japan's sick economy
Lost Decade (Japan)
The is the time after the Japanese asset price bubble's collapse within the Japanese economy, which occurred gradually rather than catastrophically...

 which Miyazawa was still trying to mend as Japan's finance minister.

According to USA Today
USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...

, the incident was one of the top "25 memorable public meltdowns that had us talking and laughing or cringing over the past quarter-century." citation needed.

A satiric play
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

featuring the incident, and an art exhibit with an image of it was reviewed in 2000.
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