Shaka ni Seppō (釈迦に説法 – Preaching to the Choir)

  • Shaka ni Seppō


    I noticed that some presenters used the Japanese phrase shaka ni seppō (釈迦に説法) in an academic conference I participated in.

    Since shaka (釈迦) means “Buddha” and seppō (説法) means “preach (of Buddha),” the literal meaning of ‘shaka ni seppō’ is “preach of Buddha to Buddha.”
    「釈迦」は “Buddha”、「説法」は “preach (of Buddha)” を意味するので、「釈迦に説法」の文字どおりの意味は “preach of Buddha to Buddha” となります。

    Imagine a situation that someone teaches a Buddha’s sermon to Buddha himself.

    You know it is an embarrassing and stupid act.

    Like this, to teach or explain something to an expert/specialist in the field is described as shaka ni seppō.

    One thought on “Shaka ni Seppō (釈迦に説法 – Preaching to the Choir)

    • Kenneth Anderson

      “Preaching to the choir” has a totally different meaning. It means talking to people who already agree with you.


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