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sitting on the floor

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sitting on the floor

Postby katafei » Mon 10.08.2007 12:03 pm

こんにちは皆さん、
I'm watching a fair bit of Japanese tv and I've noticed that in tv series people will still very often end up sitting on the floor, even if there's 'western-style' furniture.
It's kind of funny noticing how people will slide of couches when the subject they talk about tends to get serious or embarassing.
In Holland, grown-ups will only sit on the floor together when they are very comfortable with each other.

I was wondering if people really still sit on the floor that much?
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 10.08.2007 12:28 pm

hell, after moving back the the US after spending time in Japan, I sit on the floor all the time too. I find that chairs aren't comfortable and that couches are just not that comfortable either.

To be honest, in all the houses I was let into (when I was a missionary) which was quite a few I can only count 4 of them as having any sort of "western-style" furniture in them. again this was 1987-1989 so that was quite a time ago. However, even during my military service in Japan, I didn't notice much 'western-style' furniture either.
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby spinizuey » Mon 10.08.2007 12:51 pm

I don't know if I could adjust to sitting on the floor. Usually my clothing pinches behind my legs and I lose circulation.... my feet go numb.. etc. And i can't sit "indian-style" either. Even when I was in grade school I couldn't sit comfortably with my legs crossed (my knees stick up really high).
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby Hatori » Mon 10.08.2007 2:44 pm

Sitting on the floor is sort of something that's been going on forever in Japan. It's like a habit in their society to sit on the floor. :p ;)
I personally don't like sitting on floors because it just feels dirty unless you vaccuum the spot before you sit down. :p That's just me. LOL
我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。
lol
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 10.08.2007 4:00 pm

hatori, clean floors is one of the reasons the Japanese remove their shoes before entering their houses. it's also one of the reasons that I request all guests in my house remove their shoes too. it's amazing how much dirt one drags into the house with their shoes.
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby xsilentxtearsx » Mon 10.08.2007 6:08 pm

Cool. I don't get Japanese channels where I live at. :(
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby stevie » Mon 10.08.2007 6:51 pm

I was at a party at a Japanese friend's house last week and many of the Japanese people there sat on the floor around the table, even when the chairs/sofas were free and there was no food out. However, apart from me, the few other westerners there opted to take the chairs (maybe cause there was no room left on the floor by the time they showed up :p).

Before that night, it had been a long time since I've sat on the floor for an extended period of time. I'm fine with it, but getting comfortable is tricky at first.
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Mon 10.08.2007 8:05 pm

I hate sitting on the floor. I can't do seiza for more than a minute or two, and I can't find any real comfortable position.
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby Oracle » Mon 10.08.2007 8:30 pm

I worked at an old peoples' hospital in Japan (just taking meals to patients, changing bed sheets etc - nothing medical) and there were old ladies in their 80s and 90s in the wards who would sit on their beds in 正座 for *hours* chatting to each other. It was just the most comfortable way for them to sit after a lifetime of doing it. I don't think the current generation in Japan would be comfortable doing it for so long.
I was really impressed because I can sit like that for about 2 minutes tops..
Last edited by Oracle on Tue 10.09.2007 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby Hatori » Mon 10.08.2007 8:38 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:
hatori, clean floors is one of the reasons the Japanese remove their shoes before entering their houses. it's also one of the reasons that I request all guests in my house remove their shoes too. it's amazing how much dirt one drags into the house with their shoes.

I love wearing my shoes. I buy ones that are comfortable! :D Anyway, regardless if we wear our shoes or not, there's always this ONE PLACE in my family room that gets a spot on our white rug. My mom has to clean it every month...
我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 10.08.2007 10:32 pm

A life of playing video games without a couch actually trained me to sit 正座 without thinking about it. When I started learning 墨絵, I was one of the only students who could sit 正座 straight through the 5 hour class.

By comparison, I can't sit crosslegged, which is how Japanese people relax when sitting on the floor. So to relax, I sit seiza, which just makes everything think I'm being overly polite. :/
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby HeyItsMatt » Mon 10.08.2007 11:23 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
I hate sitting on the floor. I can't do seiza for more than a minute or two, and I can't find any real comfortable position.


I'm okay sitting on the floor if I have something to lean back against like a couch, but otherwise I end up slouching and shifting position a lot. I'm kind of inflexible and I weigh as much as a teenage girl, which means that I'm bad at sitting cross legged and I have no butt to sit on in the first place. Yeah... no butt, can't sit down on the floor, it's a hard life for sure.
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby enji » Tue 10.09.2007 5:38 am

I guess in Asian communities we tend to take off our shoes before entering our house (or in fact, even other people's house). In the tropical region, most houses do not have carpeted floor, instead the floor is covered with tiles (e.g. marble tiles) or with wood. With the hot and humid weather here, I prefer sitting on the floor as it is more cooling (even lying down when it gets really hot); unless the room is air-conditioned. Otherwise after prolong sitting at the chair or sofa, you'll find your pants clinging to your butt because of sweat. :@ I usually sit crosslegged, shifting my position once in a while. I don't think I can sit 正座 for a long time.

Btw, a group of us went to US some time ago and stayed in an apartment. Some American friends came and were wondering why we left our footwears at the doorway and walked bare feet inside the apartment. :)
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby katafei » Tue 10.09.2007 6:00 am

First thing I do when I get home, is take my shoes of. Can't stand them! I'll even bring indoor-shoes/slippers when I visit (good) friends for the day. Most of them are used to it by now ^_^
Walking barefoot in someone else house....
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RE: sitting on the floor

Postby Paragon » Mon 10.22.2007 12:25 am

Even getting into the seiza position, much less holding it, hurts my ankles. Even on a soft surface like a bed.

Cross-legged, though, is no problem. A sort of half-lotus position (with both legs bent ~90 degrees or more, one on the floor and the other on top) is essentially my default sitting position if whatever I'm sitting on isn't too small.
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