Back to October 1999
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Sports Days

A sports day seems to be a day when the kids get the whole day to do cool stuff and just generally not work. Each class is a team, and the competition is for best in your year.

Two explanations here - there are only three years in High School - first (ichi nensei), second (ni nensei), or third (san nensei). Also, in Japanese schools, you sit with the same people all day - classes are determined by your major, and the teachers come to your classroom. Hence the reason your class is your team - you see these people every flippin’ day so you had better get along with them

Each team makes a banner to proclaim their team, which is also judged and points awarded. Usually at one point during the festival there will be a cheering contest, martial arts display, etc. in addition to the usual sports we think of.

The schedule is about the same as a normal school day, but instead of going to class they set up first thing in the morning. Then, as with all things, there is an opening ceremony, and speeches by those who get to give speeches (generally the principal, and minimum two others, sometimes invited guests). Then the students give an oath to do their best, and maybe the pledge of allegiance. Finally we’re ready for sports! This particular sports day was at Taku technical high school. There were fewer foot races than at Chienkan, although that may have been the day before (these things take some time). This day, anyhow, there were five events: kick baseball, soccer, basketball, badminton, and mini golf. I watched and photographed all over.

After everyone has a go at all the sports, and points are awarded, there is a closing ceremony, and the winning teams get goodies. Then everyone goes home.

Outdoors at Taku

Outdoors at Taku 2