Japan 2012; An epic adventure post 13


Photo on 2012-10-22 at 20.52

From the journal of Christopher Sanford Beck on October 22 2012


Today Catherine, Atsushi, and I went to Ayana’s kindergarten because the school was taking time, as they do every month, to celebrate the birthdays of the children born that month. In some schools in Canada if it’s your birthday the class might sing happy birthday, and if you’re lucky the teacher might bring Tim Bits. But here in Japan it was totally different! The school gathered together in a room with a stage (I’m not sure what room it was but it wasn’t the gym) and all of the parents and family of kids with birthdays that month came to sing, watch a play put on by the teachers, and listen to short speeches made by the principal, teachers, and if it was their child’s last year in Kindergarten (there are several years spent in kindergarten) parents. All of the birthday kids where lined up on the stage and received a small gift and a crown before standing up and saying their name and how old they had turned. It was quite an event! I felt that this was a really positive thing to do for the kids, Ayana (who had turned five on the day of my arrival) sure enjoyed it! After that, the kids all went back to their classes and Catherine, Ats and I got ready to leave. Before we left though, the principal of the school came up and talked to me a little (Catherine translating what I couldn’t understand) and gave me a small gift, nail clippers with the schools name on them! He was very nice and wished us well as we left. Driving home, Catherine realized that the ceremony had gone a little longer than she had expected. So picking up a small lunch at McDonalds, we rushed to the Shukijo and were there in time for Catherine to teach her classes. Supper was a delicious beef and bean stew which we ate shortly before Catherine put the kids to bed. After they were asleep, Catherine and I had some fun using Photo Booth, a computer program which uses the camera on the computer to take pictures of you, then you can add different effects such as mirror, swirl, stretch, etc. we laughed so much at the pictures that we took, they were absolutely hilarious! It was a great end to a great day, and we both fell asleep giggling.
P.S. Did you know that scouts from universities start looking for potential students in Kindergarten!?


Thanks again for reading, I hope you enjoyed!
P.P.S Did I do a good job of describing feelings Dad?



2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jacquee on March 7, 2013 at 7:30 am

    What an absolutely FUN way of ending your eventful day! It’s good to go to bed smiling 🙂 What an ingeneous way to graduate kindergarden kids to grade 1. Is age 5 always the last year of kindergarden? Are kindergarden classes held in the same school as the higher grades? My impression is that university education might be free in Japan, seeing as how there were scouts checking things out at the beginning of school years. Is this true? And do they have home-schooling or an equivalent there? I’m really enjoying this trip! peace J


  2. Hey Jacquee! The birthday party isn’t only for the kids going into grade one, but if they are, their parents get to make a speech. I’m not exactly sure how old you are when you go into grade one but I think it might be 6. Ayana’s kindergarten is it’s own school, separate from higher grades. i don’t know how much university is, but I don’t think it’s free. Again, I’m not sure if they have homeschooling, but I would guess so.


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