To kneel on your hands and knees on the ground, to prostrate. Not done very often because it is a very extreme way to say sorry and beg for forgiveness, give thanks, or make a plea. You put yourself in a position totally below the person you are directing the dogeza to.

I have seen or heard of people do dogeza when:

  • Asking for forgiveness for cheating on a partner
  • Pleading for a second chance at work
  • Parents asking a friend to let their son/daughter work at their company (the Japanese economy is very bad now)
  • Good sex
  • Even Eikichi Onizuka did it when he made a big mistake at school (on the TV show).

I personally have never done a dogeza. I guess I haven’t made that bad of a mistake before.

Interestingly, dogeza is written in 3 kanji, the first meaning “ground” and “earth”, the second meaning “down”, and the last meaning “sit”.