Calligraphy 書道 by Tom Cooke on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Keith, a member of my class, performing calligraphy. The Kanji to the left of him means house.

This was taken during my first day in Japan at Koyo High School, the first of two schools that we visited.

This school was the first main ‘shock’ that I experienced whilst I was in Japan, as school life in Japan is extremely different to Western school life.

The students start school around around 8.45am, nothing unusual, but don’t usually finish until about 8pm since everyone attends after school clubs, such as tennis or orchestra practice.

At the start of the day we were ushered into an assembly containing the whole school where a video of our town and school was played that my friend and I made (if you’d like to see just let me know!)

Another thing that shocked me was that everyone in the school, including the teachers, had to clean up the entire school whether it be mopping the corridoors or sweeping the floor. It may sound like effort or hard work but I actually enjoyed it since everyone was talking and laughing and generally having a good time.

Something that I will never forget were the students themselves: everyone was so welcoming and frequently trying out their impressive English skills on us. We were shown typical aspects of a teenage life in Japan and were asked to try out typical school food: it’s about 1000x better than the rubbish we get here and it’s cheap! haha.

Finally, we participated in a typical Japanese P.E lesson and had a small England vs Japan atheltics event that included 3 legged race (with 3 people?!), jump the rope (with about 15 people?!) and a simple 400m relay.

If you read this description then thank you! I felt like writing a little essay since I have to produce a personal and imaginative essay and Japan is my area of choice.

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    Oh, this brings back so many memories of Kumanishi…
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