Formal Japanese sitting position. Formed by kneeling on the floor and then resting the buttocks on the heels, keeping the legs folded under the thighs and the top side of the feet flat on the ground.
Those unfamiliar with seiza will likely find that maintaining it for more than a minute or two tends to lead to paresthesia.
This sitting position may be used as a form of physical punishment by forcing people to sit this way for prolonged periods of time. Effective April 2020 in Japan, through revision of their child abuse prevention law, the use of seiza as a punishment will be recognized as morally unacceptable.
- Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seiza