Kamiza means an upper seat in direct translation and shimoza does a lower seat. A higher social status person is usually recommended to sit down on kamiza (an upper seat) especially in a business meeting.
Then where is kamiza and where is shimoza? Please look at the attached picture on left. The entrance of a room is a basic factor on deciding kamiza and shimoza. The far side from the entrance is the kamiza side and the far position on the same side is upper. So ① on the picture is the most kamiza and ⑥ is the most shimoza.
But if you can see a picture on the wall or a beautiful scenery through windows, positions may change (please look at the picture in center). The side where you can see the picture or the scenery well becomes kamiza (and the far position from the entrance is more kamiza).
The concept of kamiza and shimoza is there when you take a taxi with other people (the picture on right). The back seat is kamiza, and the right position on the back seat is upper because the entrance door of a taxi in Japan is usually left (it is right hand drive). The center of the back seat is usually not comfortable, so it is the third position. The front seat next to the driver is the most shimoza.
Some (especially younger) people in Japan do not care about kamiza and shimoza nowadays. But other people often feel impolite if someone does not keep the rule of kamiza and shimoza. That's a side of culture.
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I wrote about social status in Japan in my previous entry. But its content was a bit abstract. Today, I would like to write about a concept of expression and acceptance of social status in Japan: kamiza and shimoza. Kamiza means an upper seat in direct translation and shimoza does a lower seat.