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Forcing children to sit 'seiza' style to be recognized as punishment under new law

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This has been "outlawed" in many school districts down here for at least a decade!

School's were forced to get parental permission to get children being "punished" for what ever offense, to allow the schools to have the kids kneel like this.

It IS painful, and yet there are plenty that look at it as a part of the Japanese culture and everyone should be doing it!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Along with enforcing seiza for a long time, the guidelines also list beating or bottom spanking for such reasons as children failing to do homework as unacceptable punishments.

If you have to physically punish your child for failure to complete or do their homework, you should not be a parent in the first place!

Physical punishments reinforce the "bullying" that goes on in society!

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

My kids (they are below 6 years old) love to seat that way. I for myself... can't seat for more than 1 minute lol.

I am a bit in the writing of this article...talking about seiza and then

Along with enforcing seiza for a long time, the guidelines also list beating or bottom spanking for such reasons as children failing to do homework as unacceptable punishments.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

My kids sit in seiza on their own behest. It’s nothing I’ve ever even told them to do.

It’s pretty Japanese.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

But the new law enacted in the wake of that case sets no penalties for offenders, 

Japan in a nutshell: form over substance.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

It seems that the posters whose kids voluntarily sit seiza missed this:

*forcing** children to sit extensively in the formal Japanese style known as seiza will be recognized as a morally unacceptable form of punishment *

Are you claiming that sitting seiza for extensive periods is not painful? This is an honest question because I’m not seeing the points you are trying to make.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Just because kids do it on their own, is different from being forced into it. It is painful to be forced to sit like that for 30 minutes or more.

I have personally seen kids be forced to sit in a seiza position for well over 2 hours, it's brutal. They loose pretty much all feeling in their legs and they need assistance in getting up because their legs are like two pieces of dead meat!

It's right to outlaw it as it IS corporal punishment!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

It seems that the posters whose kids voluntarily sit seiza missed this

I didn't miss it. But for westerners who may not know Japan as intimately as some of us, they may not realize that this is something that happens regularly, and is not only a forced position.

Are you claiming that sitting seiza for extensive periods is not painful? This is an honest question because I’m not seeing the points you are trying to make.

I can do it pretty much indefinitely myself. It hurts when I stand up, because I'm old and my knees tighten up if I've been sitting in seiza for a long time.

My kids are not feeling pain when they do it - they are kids who don't do anything painful willingly. They just do it because that's what they do - they've grown up seeing others doing it, and they do it naturally without thought.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

I didn't miss it. But for westerners who may not know Japan as intimately as some of us, they may not realize that this is something that happens regularly, and is not only a forced position.

Fair enough. Appreciate the response.

To me, it seems as though what’s trying to be banned is forcing kids to sit seiza on hard surfaces.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

The way seiza is written in Japanese - 'correct seating' (正座) - almost seems to imply that this is the only correct way to sit.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I’m curious as to what forms of punishment ARE allowed.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Whether this is painful or not will depend on your flexibility and shape of your body.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Nonphysical punishments are allowed – sit in a corner, go to your room, no TV, etc. But praise works much better than punishments – good job, that was great, etc.

I thought that the seiza position was the approved position for prison cells...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Sitting in a seiza position, forced or not is not recommendable for the joints either way. I believe it can cause either X or O legs?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm surprised (pleasantly) at this news. Can't wait for all the rightwingers to come howling about how the Japanese culture is being destroyed.. LOL!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

My son sits in front the tv and watches his shows like that on his own! We never taught him to sit like that nor do we sit like that. So Am I punishing my son for allowing him to sit like that?

This just goes to prove how the wrong actions of one affects all of us.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

They just do it because that's what they do - they've grown up seeing others doing it, and they do it naturally without thought.

Well, it's illegal to enforce now as all archaic practices should be.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I understand that the seiza position was meant to help your kimono or yukata from unraveling and make it easier for you to stand but if anyone has ever sat in that position for some time, it's a bit painful to stand and walk for a few minutes after. I know a punishment where people were forced to sit seiza style over sharp rocks and weights were put on their legs.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

some slip sliding Japanese judge will undoubtedly say forcing a student to sit seiza position is morally unacceptable but there is no law empowering the court to punish the offender

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

re: @article: In March 2018, 5-year-old Yua Funato died in Tokyo's Meguro Ward despite desperate pleas for her parents to stop mistreating her.

What does the above caption have to do with seiza? Does not even belong in this story an off topic.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

This style of sitting is also the traditional position of submission to be beheaded by a samurai and to commit ‘sempuki’ (Stab oneself in the guts). How wonderful!

Is it really necessary to have a law to tell people what is acceptable punishment? I can just imagine the force they will use to get a three year old to sit in this position. I guess it’s too much to expect people to make kids stand in the corner, go to their room for five minutes, take their game controllers off them or change the WiFi password. Nah, let’s force them to sit in the submission position while they wait to be beheaded. TIJ!

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Nonphysical punishments are allowed – sit in a corner, go to your room, no TV, etc. But praise works much better than punishments – good job, that was great, etc.

The Japanese don’t send their child to bed without supper or to just go to your room. They lock them out of the house. This can be child abuse - neglect and emotional abuse if for long periods of time and in cold weather.

Will locking children out of the house be prohibited in the future? Probably not. It takes the death of a few victims before it can become law.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Is it really necessary to have a law to tell people what is acceptable punishment? 

Sometimes, yes. When I went to school corporal punishment was permitted. Usually, if given the strap at school students were also spanked at home. By the time I became a teacher the practice was illegal and parents spanking children is not legally permitted now either.

I can do it pretty much indefinitely myself. It hurts when I stand up, because I'm old and my knees tighten up if I've been sitting in seiza for a long time.

My kids are not feeling pain when they do it - they are kids who don't do anything painful willingly. They just do it because that's what they do - they've grown up seeing others doing it, and they do it naturally without thought.

In yoga seiza is called virasana or hero's pose and is touted as relief for tired legs. However, if one is not accustomed to the position, it can be painful. In the early days when I first began to travel to Japan, I worked up to it by increasing the amount of time I held the position.

It can be quite comfortable once conditioned to it and stretches the quads nicely. That said, levels of discomfort in the position can vary as it depends a good deal on a person's natural flexibility, the muscular structure of the body, and weight. A light, flexible person likely will not have the same difficulty holding the position that a tight heavy person might.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A law without penalties isn't much of a law. My wife and I are too old to even just sit on the floor.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The Japanese don’t send their child to bed without supper or to just go to your room. They lock them out of the house. This can be child abuse - neglect and emotional abuse if for long periods of time and in cold weather.

Will locking children out of the house be prohibited in the future? Probably not. It takes the death of a few victims before it can become law.

TBF, all of this stuff builds character and makes one tough. The MMA fighter Lyoto Machida, whose dad is Japanese and a karate teacher, would force his sons to sit seiza on the dojo's wooden floor if they were bad. One time he got into a serious fight with one of his brothers when they were about 10 years old and their dad locked them out of the house for a night. AFAIK they formed a bond that night sleeping on the sidewalk and never fought again.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Looks like we have to choose between physical "abuse" and emotional "abuse". Poor kids are going to be absolutely worthless when they get older. (Note, I purposely did not say 'grow up' because they won't be able to.)

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Useless : whatever does not provide physical consequences should be allowed as punishment.

The few times I spanked my children, fear for respect was the sole intent.

Seiza for kids would not do any harm except if kid is already in bad condition (obese, ill, etc).

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

What about the long standing time during graduation ceremonies in public schools( My experience is with JHS public schools) Each year i witness students falling down, feeling sick, throwing up due to standing for a long time. I feel the whole graduation rituals need some serious revision, because there is some level of torture in that too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A lot of comments seem to miss the point. Seiza is not bad in itself and lots of kids will naturally sit this way in Japan. However forcing kids against their will to sit in this (for me very hurtful, but I'm not as flexible as a 5 years old) position for long minutes as punishment is. Some exceptions can be found if you practice martial arts as this is part of the training but you sign up for this stuff.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

“The Japanese don’t send their child to bed without supper or to just go to your room.”

Many of the deaths of children from abuse here have involved withholding of foot and very low body weight for their age.

A few minutes ago one of the TV shows did an explanation of the new guidelines. I wasn’t paying close attention but I did notice they said withholding food was also included in the unacceptable category.

invalid CSRF

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They force people in jail to sit like this for 6-8 hours a day without moving.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But the new law enacted in the wake of that case sets no penalties for offenders

Whenever this happens, Westerners tend to complain, but such measures are not totally teethless in law, but a clarification of right and wrong as far as the law is concerned with a corresponding imposition of civil liability.

Henceforth, a defendant or conservative judge in a civil suit is not allowed to claim or rule that seiza is Japan's tradition, or acceptable within societal norms or other similar lines of reasoning - it'll be forced to say it is wrong, a valid tort and thus opening the road to at least some compensation or remedy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Isn't it true when a person (and children are people) that need discipline, the problem is more likely a lack of communication and care? I've seen some great J parents take time to explain the issue to their children and the child understands. I cannot think of a time when physical or punishment helps reform someone better than care and communication. It just doesn't work in a 21st Century mindset.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It = physical and mental discipline.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Since that girl was killed by her stepfather, the death penalty is that they must have sentenced that damn cretin, 13 years seems very little, it is like they rewarded that murderer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They force people in jail to sit like this for 6-8 hours a day without moving.

If that is the case then Japan is guilty of Human Rights abusive. Stress positions are classed as torture.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If that is the case then Japan is guilty of Human Rights abusive.

Japan isn’t exactly a model for respecting human rights.

Stress positions are classed as torture.

Rightly so.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

My kids always complaining for this. They let them sit for how many hours and its very painful for them. There not even allowed to move.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Do the hustleToday  09:17 am JST

This style of sitting is also the traditional position of submission to be beheaded by a samurai and to commit ‘sempuki’ (Stab oneself in the guts). How wonderful!

LOL. is also the traditional style of sitting for a zillion other Japanese cultural events from the Tea Ceremony to Funeral gatherings. Are you also against standing as it also the traditional position for being shot by a firing squad.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is a law!??! Why? I sat like this for hours like for weddings and funerals.

Legs hurt after but that’s normal. Sounds like some teacher over did it and the snow flakes got offended.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

In yoga seiza is called virasana or hero's pose and is touted as relief for tired legs.

I get that. When my legs are sore, it feels good, as you mentioned:

It can be quite comfortable once conditioned to it and stretches the quads nicely.

I find it's a bit like settling into a hot bath for me - it's a moment of discomfort as I adjust, which goes from a slightly painful 'ohh' to a nice relieved 'ahh' as I settle into it. Then it just feels good. I find it makes for good posture in general, by building up some core strength when you sit in seiza with proper posture. I usually sit in seiza while eating breakfast and watching the news.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just to remind - what is being made illegal is the use of seiza as a form of punishment.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

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