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School Life
School Life
  1. School Excursions
  2. Athletic Festival or Undōkai
  3. Club Activities
  4. Getting to School
  5. School Uniforms
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girl wearing a protective face mask for kendō.
Kendō or Japanese fencing is a popular after-school club activity in Japan. Students wear protective gear for kendō practice.
Courtesy of Otani Junior and Senior High School.
Club Activities
Club activities are a big part of school life for students in Japan. Schools throughout the country, from elementary school through college, have special after-class activities for students. The club activities take on the most importance at the junior high school level, where all students are expected to join a club. The types of clubs vary from school to school, but they are mostly sports teams; there are usually an even number of boys’ and girls’ teams. Besides sports teams, some schools have other activities such as band art, and science clubs. Clubs meet every day after school; sometimes the meetings last until after dark. In many cases, clubs from one school compete against clubs from neighboring schools. For most sports teams, the only students who get to play in competitions are the older students. First year students, no matter how good they are, must wait to compete until they have learned more from their coach and older teammates. First year students are expected to set up and clean up after practice. This kind of deference is common in Japan, where younger people are expected to be respectful to those who are older than they are, including older schoolmates.
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