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Question Getting to the ground for seiza with a bad leg?

mortimerrush

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Hello,

This has been bugging me a little, since it concerns my physical ability.

My leg has implants and such. It often hurts a little when I walk, and is stiffer than it used to be. It may get better over time, but it is likely to be long lasting.

I can get to the floor, it's just not graceful. What's it like culturally when one has a bad leg like that? Is it acceptable to stumble a little, or is it impolite? Would people expect me to tell them beforehand?
 

bentenmusume

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Believe it or not, Japanese people can also suffer from leg injuries and ailments that make it difficult to perform seiza. Many among the younger generation cannot (or simply would rather not) sit in seiza for any longer than necessary.

As a foreigner, absolutely no one will consider it "impolite" or hold it against you in any way if you're not able to perform a perfect, graceful seiza. On the contrary, many Japanese people will be surprised when a foreigner (even a perfectly able-bodied one) even comes close.

Feel free to tell people in advance if it puts your mind at ease, but unless you're going to be seriously studying Japanese tea ceremony, martial arts, or what-have-you, the chances of this having any impact at all on your stay in Japan is negligible to none. There are very, very few cases in daily life in Japan where seiza is even necessary.
 

mortimerrush

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I am going there for work soon, and the leg issue a relatively new development in my life. It's been making people ask questions as well as looking concerned, which in turn stresses me out. I just don't know what to expect concerning it.

Thank you for your help.
 
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