Cherry Blossom School Start

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Tokyo sakura

This photo was taken in Tokyo last week at the peak of the short cherry blossom season. It is a photo of first thing in the morning at the nearby junior high school. If you weren't familiar with how schools in Japan really are, looking at the military style movements imposed on the kids, you might think it was a juvenile correctional facility.

Like life in Japan in general, Japanese education is an extreme mixture of the strict and the lax. School life in Japan is organized and ritualized to the nth degree, yet the relationship between teachers and children is much more paternal/maternal than most Western teachers and parents would feel comfortable with. Teachers are afforded ritual respect, but the way pupils generally relate to them would likely earn a pupil in a Western country a reprimand for its over-familiarity.

Anyway, enjoy the quintessential spring scene of school in Japan. The pupils pictured here could well be new first-year pupils who have just entered junior high school from elementary school.

Read more about school in Japan.


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