This is an advertisement poster from a department store
for the "summer gift season".
We (mostly between business relationship)exchange summer gifts
to express appreciation for the good relationship.
Anyway, I found it interesting because the white bear
in the poster is sitting in the manner we do in
formal occasion (on tatami mats).
We call it SEIZA in Japanese, which literally means
"right (way of ) sitting".
But if someone who is not very familiar with our culture got
a chance to look at it, he/she may not believe what he/she is seeing.
I have read many of essays written about what foreign tourists are
most shocked to see while they are in Japan.
If I consult this word with a dictionary to define what this is...
1. fold one's legs under oneself
2.sit down Japanese style, with the buttocks on top of the ankles
3.sit erect with one's legs folded under one
Hmm...it sounds very acrobatic, doesn't it!
Actually it is not at all difficult to sit this way..if only for a few minutes.
When we need to sit in SEIZA style for more than ten minutes..
like when we visit temples...it sure is a torture!! lol
I think this way of sitting has something to do with kimono.
In other words, you will find no other way of sitting on the
floor if you are wearing kimono!!
Yes, this makes sense, really.
* * *
By the way, many of us feel a slight shock when we first see
foreign girls and grown up women sit cross-legged when they
are in a casual atmosphere like talking with friends in the park.
In Japan, it is taught to be most embarrasing thing for girls
to sit that way. It is thought to be men's style and personally,
I don't have complaints about it : )