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Shippe Gaeshi (しっぺ返し – Paying Back)

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    Shippe Gaeshi


    When someone does something bad to you, if you pay him/her in the same coin, the act is called ‘shippe gaeshi‘ (しっぺ返し).

    Originally, shippe gaeshi was called ‘shippei gaeshi‘ (竹篦返し).

    Shippei‘ (竹篦) is a bamboo stick that is used to mentor Zen monks, and ‘gaeshi/kaeshi‘ (返し) means “to get back.”
    「竹篦」とは、師家が参禅者を指導する際に用いる竹でできた棒状の法具のことで、「返し」は “to get back” を意味します。

    In Zen sitting meditation, when the posture of a monk is disturbed due to distracting thoughts, the guide hits shippei on the monk’s shoulder.

    That is to say, shippei gaeshi means to hit back shippei. Later, shippei changed to shippe.

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