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土下座 Prostrating Oneself

土下座
kneeling down to the ground, prostrating oneself


The word:

Closer look at the kanji:

B = Beginner | I = Intermediate | A = Advanced

土下座
do ge za
kneeling down to the ground, prostrating oneself

do earth, ground
ge down, below, under
za seat, sit down


粘土 nen do - clay (a dirty word) [I]
お土産 omiyage - a souvenir, a present [B]
靴下 kutsu shita - socks (shoe + under) [B]
shita - below, under [B]
王座 ou za - throne [I]
正座 sei za - sitting correctly Japanese style [sit upright with legs under] [I]


Godzillas humble act resulted in the lizards return to respectable society.

SUGGESTED USAGE:

ゴジラは心から反省したので、東京都民に土下座した。
gojira wa kokoro kara hansei shita node, toukyou tomin ni dogeza shita.

Godzilla, having had heartfelt introspections, humbly knelt before the citizens of Tokyo.

ABOUT SUGGESTED USAGE:

ゴジラ gojira - Godzilla The Japanese gojira comes from gorira (gorilla) and kujira (whale)
心から kokoro kara - from the heart
反省 han sei - reflect on, think over
した shita - past of suru
ので node - because (of what was said before node)
東京 tou kyou - Tokyo Most English speakers pronounce this in 3 syllables, but it really is only 2 TOU KYOU
都民 to min - citizens of Tokyo
ni - particle showing who Godzilla is dogezaing to


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Pianogirl123's picture

now what does prostrate mean?

now what does prostrate mean?

chikara's picture

what does prostrate mean?

Generally to lie face down in submission although in the Japanese context it is more likely to be kneeling in seiza (星座) and bowing forward so that your forehead is touching the floor, as described in the article. Same as kowtow (koutou 叩頭).

Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there

The kanji for that is 正座,

The kanji for that is 正座, whereas 星座 means constellation.

土下座 is still employed, and is not performed lightly. It is indicative that someone has committed quite a severe. Occasionally company presidents can be seen doing it at press conferences if they have been at the center of some sort of scandal.

chikara's picture

Doh! Of course it should have

Doh! Of course it should have been 正座. ワー プロ馬鹿です :o

Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there

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