Morning at school.

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     It’s 7:30AM. Classes don’t start for over an hour. But kids are outside in the cold, playing tennis. Even in the early morning, Japanese junior high school students are being socialized. They’re promoting “the group” and an “early to rise” mentality. Kids will continue practicing until right up to the bell calls them in for their morning meeting.

     Japanese schools are filled with meetings. Whether it be for any number of committees, ranging from student council, to the school beautification board, or meetings for all teachers, just certain grades, trips to the Boards of Education, Japanese students and teachers are constantly conferring with each other. Many of these meetings seem extraneous, and many of them turn into bitch sessions or gossip gatherings, where little is accomplished, if anything. If America has a style of succinct news bulletins that get passed out to only those who need to know, the Japanese take it upon themselves to over inform everyone on staff. The handouts students and teachers receive on an almost daily basis are extraordinary in there frivolity. Many handouts begin with mention of the weather changing, the leaves changing colors, or warnings to beware of illness. It’s almost like a conversation. They begin slowly, with what appears to be idle chit-chat before moving along to the meat and potatoes of the handout. And even the most serious of pamphlets, (even the AIDS statistics one) are adorned with cutesy characters. You can tell it’s flu season from the smiling hypodermic syringe dancing on the side of the page.


Written by Brandon

April 21, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Posted in Japan

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