Keywords: Culture & History, Go term

正座, lit.: 'correct sitting'

Seiza is written with two Chinese characters. The character pronounced sei- means "proper, right, true," and by itself can be pronounced tadashii, meaning "just right" or "proper." The character -za means "sitting posture," and is written with an ideograph depicting people sitting on a raised platform under a roof. To the Japanese, sitting in seiza, with one's shins folded under, is the most efficient, beautiful, and "proper" posture while engaged in a formal activity sitting on tatami mats indoors.

Quote taken from: [ext] ''What is Seiza?'' by Wayne Muromoto

Humorous definition: Seiza is a way of sitting that will guarantee that your legs go to sleep within 15 minutes and you will fall over when you try to stand up.


(bugcat: Wiktionary's [ext] article on the character 座 disputes the explanation given by Muromoto. It says that 座 is a phonosemantic (sound-meaning) compound, composed of the semantic 广 ("house on cliff") and the phonetic 坐, which it gives the Old Chinese pronunciation *zoːlʔ, *zoːls. It further describes 坐 as an ideogrammatic compound of 土 (ground) with 留 (to stay).)

Seiza last edited by bugcat on August 15, 2021 - 04:53
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