Friday, October 18, 2013

30 Things You Should Know and/or Will Love about Japan Series: # 29

#29 Japanese School Children
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This may seem like an odd topic for a post, but everyday after we drop Lola off and head to work we there is a sea of Japanese kids heading off to school.  They are all donning their uniforms and their randoseru. (I really wish I have taken a photo of this... when I do, I'll replace these pictures.)

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A randoseru is a hard formed leather backpack.  Japanese children get it when they enter school... and they go for a whopping ¥30,000 (about $300 USD).  The traditional colors are red and black, but I've seen pink and blues too.  They usually only use it through primary school.

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Also many children, especially hoikuen, daycare age, or lower elementary often wear matching hats, especially on field trips or outings from school.  
They are quite cute...  Don't you think?

Unfortunately, our school doesn't have a uniform policy.  We are one of the very few, probably in all of Japan.  Many other international schools even wear uniforms.

You will see a lot of Japanese school children when you are out and about in Japan.  They start riding trains alone when they are about six and they travel in packs to their neighborhood schools.
Depending on where you are, often times, Japanese school children will try to practice their English with you, yelling out "Hello!" when they see you.

We are sometimes baffled by the long hours that Japanese school children spend at school or in lessons.   Most of our students are involved with sports and/or activities every night.  We have frequently seen kids in uniforms when we are out on the train at 8-9pm at night.  Most schools have sports activities on Saturdays, and sometimes Sundays.

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