Seiza is a traditional way of sitting in an upright kneeling position in Japan.
This comic was inspired by the first time I had visited Japan. During that visit we went to see my husband’s grandmother (my father-in-law’s mother). We gathered there to make mochi for the New Year’s celebration (I wrote about the Japanese New Year’s traditions in this post: New Year in Japan – New Year’s Eve and O-Shougatsu). My husband’s grandma lives in a more traditional house with tatami rooms. While I am not unfamiliar with sitting on the floor, being sat in seiza position for more than 10 minutes gave my legs quite a numbness. Even though my legs were hurting I didn’t want to be rude, since everyone around me was sat in that way, so my plan was to just endure it. Thankfully my husband and mother-in-law noticed that something was wrong and gave me a small chair to sit on.
The picture we took that day of me being sat on the chair while being surrounded by Japanese people sat on the floor makes me laugh each time I look at it. Even though I might not be used to some of the Japanese things and ways it is nice knowing that I can count on my husband and his family’s support and understanding.
After that day everyone was very considered and gave me an option of sitting on the chair. But I preferred to sit with everyone else on the floor, therefore instead of seiza I choose to sit cross-legged, which was much more comfortable.