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Japan Tours and Life Style

Japanese Elementary School Holidays

The Japanese educational system consists mostly of six-year elementary schools, three-year junior high schools, and three-year high schools, with two- or three-year junior colleges or four-year colleges following. Through elementary and junior high school, compulsory education lasts 9 years. School exchanges are primarily implemented in junior high and high schools during Japan Educational Travel. There is a system called “Special Needs Education” that supports physically or mentally challenged children in developing their self-reliance and so enhancing their social involvement.

After their sixth birthday in April, Japanese youngsters start the first grade of elementary school. A normal elementary school class has roughly 30 to 40 children. Japanese, mathematics, science, social studies, music, crafts, physical education, and home economics are among the subjects they study (to learn simple cooking and sewing skills). English is being taught in an increasing number of elementary schools. Most schools have Internet connectivity, and information technology is rapidly being used to improve education.

Traditional Japanese arts such as shodo (calligraphy) and haiku are also taught to students. Shodo is a Japanese art form that entails dipping a brush in ink and writing kanji (letters used in numerous East Asian countries with their own meanings) and kana (phonetic characters derived from kanji) in an aesthetic way. Haiku is a type of Japanese poetry that dates back roughly 400 years. A haiku is a 17-syllable poem broken into five-syllable, seven-syllable, and five-syllable units. Simple expressions are used in haiku to convey strong feelings to readers.

For many activities in Japanese primary schools, classes are divided into small groups. Every day, for example, kids in these teams clean the classrooms, corridors, and yards of their school as part of their curriculum. Many elementary schools serve lunch to kids in their classrooms, with meals cooked by the school or a nearby “school lunch facility.” Students work in small groups to serve lunch to their classmates. Students look forward to lunchtime because school lunches contain a wide choice of healthful and nutritious foods.

Throughout the year, students engage in events such as tug-of-war and relay races, as well as excursions to historical places and arts and culture festivals that feature dancing and other performances by youngsters. Students in the upper grades of elementary, middle, and high schools also go on multi-day travels to culturally significant cities such as Kyoto and Nara, as well as ski resorts and other destinations.

Most middle and high schools require students to wear uniforms. Boys generally wear pants and jackets with stand-up collars, and girls wear a two-piece suits with sailor collars or blazers and skirts.

Is the holiday really a holiday that one enjoys?

 

Japanese elementary school holidays
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National holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays are days when public elementary and middle schools are closed. Vacations separate the three semesters in Japanese schools.

Summer break lasts 40 days at most schools, from July 20 to August 31; winter and spring vacations last 10 days each, from December 26 to approximately January 6 and March 25 to around April 5, respectively. The new academic year begins in April, following spring break.

Summer vacation in Japan, like in the United States, is a time to have fun and enjoy the warm weather, spend time with friends and family, or go on vacation; however, unlike in the United States, where students typically get two to three months off from school, Japanese students typically only get five weeks off.

Aside from having limited vacation time, Japanese students are also expected to complete a variety of assignments during their summer break. Writing a daily diary entry, reading books writing short reports, and independent scientific projects are examples of such assignments, which students give in to their teachers when they return to school.

Because their vacation falls in the middle of the Japanese school year, rather than between grades, teachers are able to offer summer homework to their students. This also implies that kids frequently return to school during their vacation to participate in extracurricular activities such as clubs and sports.

Many children also attend summer camps. Rural getaways, where children may experience what it’s like to live in the country, are among the most popular types of summer camps. Because most Japanese people live in cities, activities such as camping, hiking in the woods, horseback riding, fishing, or even working on a farm can be highly thrilling.

There are also other summer festivals that provide entertainment for the entire family. Fireworks, in particular!

Japanese academic session- How everything is scheduled

In April, the Japanese school year begins. The first term lasts until roughly July 20th, when summer break officially begins. Early September marks the start of the second term, which lasts until around December 25. Early January marks the start of the final term, which will last until late March.

Most people believe that spring, when life begins anew, is the ideal time to begin new endeavors. When the start of a new school year approaches, children become eager and full of anticipation. The cherry blossoms are also in full bloom in early April. As a result, when individuals think of starting a new school or a new job, they typically conjure up pictures of these lovely blossoms. Many schools feature cherry trees on their grounds, and parents like photographing their children walking into school for the first day under the light-pink flowers.

Some people, on the other hand, wish to modify the school year so that it begins in September. According to them, this will make it easier for students from other nations to come and study in Japan, as well as for Japanese students to attend schools in other countries. However, because spring is linked with new beginnings, the school year will most likely begin in April.

The fiscal year, which is used by the government and corporations to plan their annual activities, begins in April as well.

Fun Activities: Making most of the holidays

Ishi no ue ni mo san nen is a Japanese proverb that translates to “sit on a rock for three years.” The theme is essentially one of perseverance and the belief that things will improve, become easier, and more comfortable with time. This adage aptly encapsulates the patience with which Japanese parents appear to approach their children’s education. Unlike in the United States, where children are permitted to quit up anything they do not fully enjoy, in Japan, even if a child does not enjoy the teachings on occasion, most parents will push him or her to continue for “just a little longer.”

Cram Schools

 

Japanese elementary school holidays
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Many parents pay thousands of dollars a year for lessons, texts, and other resources, frequently starting in elementary school, because pressure to pass difficult admission examinations for both high schools and colleges has Japanese children shivering in their boots. Cram schools in rural areas are frequently located within walking distance of schools, allowing kids to walk there immediately after school, sometimes multiple times per week. This also eliminates the need for afterschool care and provides a stimulating alternative to being a latchkey youngster. Cram schools are also accessible to city students who are familiar with buses and trains. Parents can enrol their children in cram school as early as three years old if they wish to send them to famous private primary schools.

Piano/Music Lesson

 

Japanese elementary school holidays
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The cost of tuition varies by teacher, but many Japanese children begin lessons as early as three years old, learning not only piano but also violin, drums, and guitar, as well as traditional Japanese instruments such as the bamboo flute and stringed-shamisen. Music is a highly regarded art form in Japan, ranging from classical to current, with various claims linking musical ability to intelligence. Some people believe there is a link between musical ability and foreign language fluency. Hearing a language’s intonations and cadences, as well as the capacity to imitate pronunciation, are talents that can be cultivated through musical training or found in those with innate musical talent.

Soroban Schools

 

Soroban Schools
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The soroban, or Japanese abacus, is still advocated as a tool for improving math skills. Special schools dedicated to the development of soroban skills conduct regular evaluations to determine a student’s kyu or dan (level of mastery). This possibility is motivational since youngsters can brag about their accomplishments.

Calligraphy Lessons

Japanese elementary school holidays
[source]
Calligraphy is a skill that takes years of effort to master. Calligraphy can be a creative outlet for the generally reserved individual as a method to communicate intelligence, humour, and compassion. Calligraphy is taught as a topic beginning in third grade, and elementary school students must acquire (or inherit from an elder sibling) a complete calligraphy kit. Many schools have calligraphy writing contests just after the winter break, with the entire student body on their knees and covered in liquid charcoal ink.

Dance Lessons

 

Dance Lessons
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Dance schools are popular in Japan, featuring everything from traditional Japanese dances with kimonos, fans, and paper umbrellas to ultra-modern, stomach-baring hip hop movements. Some places provide a wide range of classes, while others specialize in a single area. However, recitals can be expensive because to the expense of costumes, shoes, and venue costs, since participants and their families are sometimes held accountable for ticket sales, leaving those with limited peddling skills to shoulder the cost of any unsold seats.

Conclusion

During the summer, many Japanese children enjoy catching beetles and cicadas. Unlike most of the United States, Japan’s trees are covered in cicadas throughout the year. Small aquariums and long-handled nets are available at shops to assist in catching and retaining the bugs. Stag and rhinoceros beetles, in particular, are highly prized.

Festivals: Every town has its own summer festival, which attracts a large number of people dressed in lightweight yukata and jinbei. In 2021, many of those festivities will be cancelled or reduced, but in 2022, we may see a big wave of celebrations. The majority of these events include fireworks. Obon is one of the most important, where families pay respects to their ancestors’ graves and enjoy fireworks at night.

Pyrotechnics: While purchasing fireworks is not as straightforward as it once was, convenience stores sometimes sell enormous fireworks bundles. In Japan, every summer day is a day for firing off a few firecrackers, in between the occasionally big displays of summer festivals—and even small town displays make an American “large Fourth of July display” look very puny by comparison. This is all the more surprising because Japanese homes used to be, and still are, rather flammable, and there is a great cultural fear of fires, to the point that groups of people prowl the streets late at night slamming blocks of wood and screaming about the necessity of fire safety. Even still, obtaining a significant supply of pyrotechnics is rather straightforward.

Summer is the perfect time to tell ghost stories because of Obon. On TV, you’ll watch re-enactments of legendary tales, and grandparents will recite scary stories to the kids.

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