Cross Currents Home
Resources | About Us | 日本語サイト
Home Learn About Japan Learn About Japan-U.S. Cross Currents Learn About the U.S.

Two elementary students wearing backpacks, one plad, the other, red.
School Year
  1. Three Term System
  2. School Entrance Ceremonies and Beginning and Ending of the Semester Ceremonies
  3. School Excursions
  4. Student Teachers
  5. High School Baseball
  6. Summer Break
  7. Athletic Festival or Undōkai
  8. Cultural Festivals
  9. Entrance Exam Season
  10. Graduation Ceremony or Sotsugyō Shiki
  11. Class Inspection
  12. Teacher Home Visits
Listen in English | Japanese Japanese View Article in English | Japanese
A group of young children, dressed formally, standing on a stage
These students are participating in a special ceremony at the beginning of the school year.
Photo from Itayanagi Town Website.
School Entrance Ceremonies and Beginning and Ending of the Semester Ceremonies
In early April, all the students in a school gather for a formal ceremony welcoming the new students. At this ceremony, new students are introduced to the other students and teachers and the teachers and principal have a chance to talk to the new students. Many of the parents of the new students attend this ceremony, often dressed formally, as a way to show support for their children and to meet some of the other parents and teachers. The ceremony marks a new period of the students’ lives, as they are now in a new school and at a new stage of life. Like the cherry blossoms, students in their new school uniforms heading to school for the start of the new school year is a common sight in the springtime in Japan. There are also ceremonies that mark the beginning and the end of each semester in Japanese schools. These ceremonies, while not as formal as the entrance ceremony, are formal. Students are expected to listen quietly to speeches and announcements from the principal. Goals for the new semester are announced at the opening ceremonies. Events of the past semester are highlighted during closing ceremonies.
Download Podcast in English | Japanese
Document | Audio-Video | Chart | Picture | Map