Thursday, October 13, 2011

運動会 Sports Day

Eight am on Saturday…this is not typically when I would like to be at work.  Fortunately there is only one day a year when this happens.

Every fall in Japan, elementary schools across Japan hold an 運動会-undoukai, which is usually translated as Sports Day.

Sports day is fantastic.  The student body is split into teams who compete for the school trophy.  The students play traditional Japanese sports.  Each grade performs a dance.  Parents get involved and compete with their children.  Grandparents come and watch. 

It lasts all day.  It’s a big deal.  

Three-legged race with Mom.
5th graders tug o' war with parents.
5th graders trying to snatch each others caps.
Cheer leading!
Little ones trying to throw the balls in the basket.
6th and 5th graders performance.
The ultimate all-grade game. Getting the giant ball from the 1st graders all the way to the 6th graders. So funny to watch!
Red team takes first! Receiving the trophy from kocho sensei (the principal).
The final scores.

It's a very fun work day.  
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  1. This is a very interesting post, as it gives some insight into Japanese culture and traditions. Looks like the kids had a lot of fun this day.

  2. Thanks for the comment. Everyone has lots of fun on sports day. It's definitely a great cultural Japanese experience. I really like it!