Friday, April 30, 2021

taiiku-zuwari 体育座り (Sitting Hugging Your Knees)

In Japanese, taiiku-zuwari 体育座り, "physical education sitting," is a way to sit on the floor: holding your knees. It's called this way because children are made sit like this in physical education classes in Japan.

Hyuuga Akari 日向朱里, Kanou Koyomi 叶こよみ, example of taiiku-zuwari 体育座り.
Left: Hyuuga Akari 日向朱里
Right: Kanou Koyomi 叶こよみ
Anime: Yagate Kimi ni Naru やがて君になる (Episode 3)
  • Context: students sitting in a "gymnasium," taiikukan 体育館.

It's also called sankaku-zuwari 三角座り, "triangle sitting," or taisou-zuwari 体操座り, "gymnastics sitting," depending on the region.


Strictly speaking, it only counts as a taiiku-zuwari if the character is holding their knees.

  • ryou-ashi wo ryou-ude de kakaeru
    To hold both legs with both arms.
    (body parts.)

Although it's typically done by placing the arms over the knees, under the knees also count, so long as they're wrapping around the legs somehow.

Adagaki Aki 安達垣愛姫, example of taiiku-zuwari 体育座り.
Character: Adagaki Aki 安達垣愛姫
Anime: Masamune-kun no Revenge, 政宗くんのリベンジ (Episode 7, Stitch)
  • Context: a taiiku-zuwari with arms under legs.

For reference, how the term is called according to each region:


In anime, the taiiku-zuwari is the preferred sitting position of depressed characters when they're sulking and being sad and gloomy.

Ikari Shinji 碇シンジ, example of character sitting in taiiku-zuwari 体育座り position.
Character: Ikari Shinji 碇シンジ
Anime: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinseiki Evangerion 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン THE END OF EVANGELION (Movie)
  • Context: Shinji doing everything in his power to not get in the robot.
  • ochikomu
    To feel down. To feel depressed.
    (eventive verb.)
Garcia Fernando Lovelace, ガルシア・フェルナンド・ラブレス, example of character sitting in taiiku-zuwari 体育座り position.
Character: Garcia Fernando Lovelace, ガルシア・フェルナンド・ラブレス
Anime: Black Lagoon, ブラック・ラグーン (Episode 8)
  • Context: Garcia, a rich boy, sulks after being kidnapped.
Agatsuma Zen'itsu 我妻善逸, sulking in taiiku-zuwari 体育座り position.
Character: Agatsuma Zen'itsu 我妻善逸
Anime: Kimetsu no Yaiba 鬼滅の刃 (Episode 15)
  • Context: Zen'itsu sulks alone after being left behind by his nakama 仲間, arguably the best decision they could ever make.
Arrietty, アリエッティ, sitting holding her knees, example of taiiku-zuwari 体育座り.
Character: Arrietty, アリエッティ
Anime: Karigurashi no Arrietty, 借りぐらしのアリエッティ
  • Context: Arriety being a little depressed after things don't go as well as she wanted..

This sulking is often accompanied by other depressing manga symbols.

Suou Tamaki 須王環 growing mushrooms in a lone corner, dubbed "mushroom room," kinoko no heya キノコのへや, and Fujioka Ryouji 藤岡涼二.
Background: Suou Tamaki 須王環
Foreground: Fujioka Ryouji 藤岡涼二
Anime: Ouran High School Host Club, Ouran Koukou Hosuto-Bu 桜蘭高校ホスト部 (Episode 10)
Aqua アクア, example of vacant eyes.
Character: Aqua アクア
Anime: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! この素晴らしい世界に祝福を! (Episode 5)


Contrary to what some anime would lead you to believe, anti-gravity skirts don't exist, so if someone sits in this position wearing a skirt, with the camera in front of them, underwear would inevitably be shown.

Minamoto Sakura 源さくら, Konno Junko 紺野純子, example of taiiku-zuwari 体育座り.
Left: Minamoto Sakura 源さくら
Right: Konno Junko 紺野純子
Anime: Zombieland Saga, ゾンビランドサガ (Episode 6)
  • Context: skirts abiding by the laws of nature.
    • Finally some realism in my zombie anime!

If panties are shown, it counts as panchira パンチラ.

If it doesn't happen in spite of gravity-obeying skirts, to the point that whether the character is wearing underwear or not starts becoming uncertain, this would have its own term: haitenai はいてない.

Sakamachi Kinjirou 坂町近次郎, Usami Masamune 宇佐美マサムネ, example of taiiku-zuwari 体育座り.
Left: Sakamachi Kinjirou 坂町近次郎
Right: Usami Masamune 宇佐美マサムネ
Anime: Mayo Chiki! まよチキ! (Episode 6)
  • Context: the typical anime heroine, sulking about her wreck of a personality that has caused a slew of issues to the character sitting just beside her that will have to comfort her because he lacks any sense of self-worth himself as the typical male protagonist he is.

A skirt that doesn't let panchira happen has its own term, too: "iron-wall skirt," teppeki sukaato 鉄壁スカート.

Personality Contrast

Sometimes, the way a character sits is used to contrast their personality with other characters sitting on the floor.

Hayashida Shinjirou 林田慎二郎, Hokuto Takeshi 北斗武士, Hokuto's henchman, and Maeda Akira 前田彰 sitting in yankii-zuwari ヤンキー座り (delinquent squat), while Kamiyama Takashi 神山高志, who isn't a delinquent, sits in taiiku-zuwari 体育座り.
Rightmost: Hayashida Shinjirou 林田慎二郎
Right: Hokuto Takeshi 北斗武士
Middle: uh... what was his name again... I forgot. Hokuto's henchman.
Left: Kamiyama Takashi 神山高志
Leftmost: Maeda Akira 前田彰
Anime: Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou, 魁!!クロマティ高校 (Episode 16, Stitch)
Poses & Gestures

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