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Monday, April 5, 2021

yankii-zuwari ヤンキー座り

In Japanese, yankii-zuwari ヤンキー座り, meaning literally "yankee sitting," translated to "delinquent squat," and also known in English as the "slav squat," refers to a way to sit on the floor: by squatting.

It's also romanized yankee-zuwari.

Hayashida Shinjirou 林田慎二郎, Hokuto Takeshi 北斗武士, and Hokuto's henchman, example of yankii-zuwari ヤンキー座り, delinquent squat.
Right: Hayashida Shinjirou 林田慎二郎
Middle: Hokuto Takeshi 北斗武士
Left: uh... what was his name again... I forgot. Hokuto's henchman.
Anime: Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou, 魁!!クロマティ高校 (Episode 16)

Definition

Literally, yankii-zuwari means "yankee sitting," as in the act of sitting like a yankee.

The term "yankee," katakanized yankii ヤンキー, refers to someone from the U.S.A. An American. However, in Japan it's synonymous with "delinquent," furyou 不良.

The reason for this is that, after the World War II, delinquents started copying the style of American soldiers, like wearing loose pants, pompadour, and dying their hair blond. This style was called "yankee."

Presumably, these "Japanese yankee" squatted on the floor to talk a lot, to the point the term yankii-zuwari started referring to this squat.

Maeda Taison 前田太尊, example of yankii-zuwari ヤンキー座り, delinquent squat.
Character: Maeda Taison 前田太尊
Manga: Rokudenashi Blues, ろくでなしBLUES (Volume 25, Chapter 仏の顔も・・・)

In English, around the internet, people call this a "slav squat" due to countless memes about slavs squatting like this to talk, just like Japanese delinquents, and sometimes you may hear something like a true slave squats with their heels on the floor or something like that.

Japan isn't a slavic country, and yankees aren't slavs, so clearly that has nothing to do with this article.

The yankii-zuwari is sometimes also called:

  • unko-zuwari
    うんこ座り
    "Poop sitting." Poop squat, in the sense of squatting to defecate.

However, yankii-zuwari typically refers to squatting with knees apart, while unko-zuwari could include any squatting in general.

Minami Yume 南夢芽, example of unko-zuwari うんこ座り, "poop sitting," a term for squatting.
Character: Minami Yume 南夢芽
Anime: SSSS.DYNAZENON (Episode 2)
  • Context: this is NOT how a delinquent squats.

Typically you'll see delinquents squatting in anime while chatting in some hidden part of school while smoking and plotting to fight other schools, etc., or, perhaps, when members of a biker gang make their entrance.

Delinquents squatting.
Anime: Kyou kara Ore wa!! 今日から俺は!! (Episode 1)
  • Context: high school delinquents drinking and smoking in spite of being in high school.
Kuboyasu Aren 窪谷須亜連, example of yankii-zuwari ヤンキー座り, delinquent squat.
Character: Kuboyasu Aren 窪谷須亜連
Anime: Saiki Kusuo no Psi-Nan, 斉木楠雄のΨ難 (Episode 17)
  • Context: baseball bats are a preferred weapon of delinquents.

Since the squat is associated with delinquents, sometimes a character doing it just hints they're a mean-looking delinquent sort of character.

Kaizaki Nao 貝崎名緒, example of yankii-zuwari ヤンキー座り, delinquent squat.
Character: Kaizaki Nao 貝崎名緒
Anime: Hisone to Maso-tan ひそねとまそたん (Episode 1)

By the way, historically, squatting on the floor was a reverence called dogeza 土下座. Nowadays this term refers to a different gesture, however.

A procession with people squatting before it. Example of dogeza 土下座.

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