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Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/16 03:42
I'm England we have P.E (physical Education) but its not made to be very important. For one thing P.E only happens an hour a week (in most schools) and its not very structured. For me it lacks teaching kids the importance of exercise and a healthy life style.
I was wondering if it's the same in Japan or whether sport is taken more seriously? For example, is it treated as just as important as math or japanese?

thank you!
by Katie louisa  

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/16 10:56
P.E. classes are the same as everywhere else: nobody cares because there is no P.E. in university entrance exams. Those kids who really want to do sports join a sports club, which may or may not be in their school.
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/16 13:04
At least in Junior High, kids definitely have P.E. more than once a week... at least 3 if I remember correctly. A lot of kids do join a sports team, which as your club sport becomes VERY important, and is often practiced in the mornings and after school, as well as on weekends at tournaments. I'd say if you join a sports club in JHS, your school life sorta revolves around it. Kids can go on to play sports in HS, and it's the same there too. But if you don't choose to do a sport, then your exercise comes from P.E., walking or biking to school, and any exercise you may get at recess after lunch. In my city, the schools also have a volleyball tournament that all the kids participate in whether they play volleyball as their club sport or not, and many schools have a marathon where all the kids compete in a track and field-type day. So during the year most kids at least are forced to do some sort of exercise during the year!
by scarreddragon rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/16 23:16
in elementary schools and junior high schools, it is very important.
but, maybe not in senior high schools and universities.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/17 13:56
In elementary and junior high school, P.E. are part of the school subject., bot practical and theory. It do have paper test.
Average 2-4 classes per week, practical, where student learn to play and understand rules for some sports such as football, baseball, volleyball etc. Theory, where student learn about their health and physical.
From June-Sept the student will have swimming lesson, and have some sort of like personal time record on their swimming ability.
Elementary school have their sports day or undokai, spring or autumn where 2 team red/white compete in various sports/games to earn point.
Whereas Junior high school have internal sports day, where each grade classes compete with each other in either track and fields or volleyballs.
So yes, P.E./sports are important and part of students in elementary and JHS. And then there this sports club after school activities as well.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/17 14:04
You people really need to see more of the world. In every comparable country, sports classes exist where you learn the rules of many games, are timed in various races, and whatnot. That does not make them important; if your results are bad, nobody cares, and that has zero impact on your future life prospects, unlike bad grades in math or your local language.
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/19 21:55
Anyone is free to disagree with me but P.E. in Japan is at least extremely more important than it was in the elementary schools I attended in L.A., and that's how all people I've personally spoken to see it.

In the two public elementary schools I attended in L.A., P.E. was not much different than an ordinary recess. You were encouraged to participate in whatever the teacher told you to, which was almost always softball or volleyball, but you were hardly forced to. No one really taught us the rules, so for a person like me who is bad at sports, be it physically or academically, P.E. was just boring. We did P.E. in our ordinary clothes, so doing sports while wearing skirts didn't give us much opportunity either.

On the other hand, in schools in Japan, P.E. is much more organized. Everyone in any public school have to change to P.E. uniforms, so you have no excuses. Everyone is taught a variety of gymnastic and field sports, and in summer you'd learn swimming. In the recent years, traditional sports typically judo has joined the curriculum. Until the so-called "yutori-kyoiku" began, you were pretty much forced to achieve a certain level, which for many people nurtured the ability to overcome difficulties.

Sure you can get bad grades after the 2 to 3 classes per week of P.E. and still go to college (where often you'd still have another year of P.E.!), but you can't flunk it if you want to graduate. Moreover, since P.E. is done in your youth, those who are bad at P.E. tend to be seen as an annoying person, because you annoy your fellow participants of team sports. There are also tests, and you also need to participate in the Ball Sports event as well as the Sports Festival.

So it may depend on your definition of "important", but just as friends are "important" or wearing the right clothes are "important" for a school boy/girl, P.E. is very important in Japan. And the best thing that can happen to people like me when graduating high school is that you don't have P.E. classes any more.

The following link is just a backup.
http://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/shotou/new-cs/youryou/syo/tai.htm
https://www.bunri.co.jp/infosrv/shinkatei_s.html
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/19 22:02
that has zero impact on your future life prospects, unlike bad grades in math or your local language.

Just to add, I was doing terrible in math since 6th grade, getting like only 1/50 correct in my tests. My kanji grades were similarly bad. But those have had zero impact on my future life prospects. I even majored Japanese literature in university and my profession involves writing hundreds of kanji every day.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/19 22:20
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prospect

Inter alia,


c :something that is awaited or expected :possibility


If you have bad grades in math, or in your local language, many (fortunately, not all) career paths are all but closed, hence the impact on your prospects. Though I will concede that if you are bad at sports, your prospects don't include becomming an Olympic athlete, so the impact is not exactly zero.
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/19 22:38
By the way, your second link above indicates that the answer to

For example, is it treated as just as important as math or japanese?

is negative.
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/19 22:44
I understand the meaning of the word(s) itself, and in that sense, I think all school subjects are equally important and equally unimportant. And additionally, P.E. in Japan is important to the young students' present. But that's just my opinion based on experience. And back to the topic, P.E. in Japan does help make your body healthy enough to face the future.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/19 23:14
I don't know, in my largish city suburb of NYC, USA, gym (unlike art and music) was required for a High School degree and I knew people who had to take gym in Summer School or risk not getting their degree. (I seem to have a vague memory of #10 in our class having to do gym in Summer School or not get his degree.) It wasn't that you had to be good, but you had to participate and try. Just standing there when someone is hitting a tennis ball at you didn't cut it, you had to at least try to hit it. And heck, Gym, English, and History and Math were the only subjects you had to take every single year of high school. So I would say gym was important because failing it/skipping it could endanger you graduating, and without a High School degree most opportunities would be closed to you. You just didn't actually need any talent in sport.

I can't remember gym as well for elementary because I'm old and it was a long time ago, but I know we had it and we were taught quite a few different sports. My favorite was always gymnastics when we would climb the huge rope in the gym lol In Jr. High and High, gym was every other day and alternated with shop or health or sometimes a free period. Usually we had a section on weights, flag football, soccer, tennis, running, gymnastics, and softball. In High School they added swim and we lost gymnastics. We might have done basketball and aerobics as well, I can't remember. I'm a woman and as we got older gym was more gender segregated so boys might have done slightly different activities.

My college didn't require any sport, but I willingly paid money to learn to fence.

It could be an age thing? I've no idea what they are currently doing in my old schools.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/19 23:36
By the way, your second link above indicates that the answer to

For example, is it treated as just as important as math or japanese?

is negative.


I'm sorry I didn't realize the above post. Do you mean, because there are less P.E. classes than math/Japanese classes? If that's how you want to judge importance, I don't have a problem with that. Anyone is free to ignore my opinion which is based on a different way of judging importance.

Actually, let me reword my opinion regardless.

The OP wrote:
For me it (P.E. in England) lacks teaching kids the importance of exercise and a healthy life style. I was wondering if it's the same in Japan or whether sport is taken more seriously? For example, is it treated as just as important as math or japanese?

I think that P.E. in Japan teaches kids the importance of exercise and a healthy life style, just as math in Japan teaches them the importance to calculate or think mathematically and just as Japanese teaches them the importance of writing and understanding the meaning of written material. But at the moment, the government (thankfully for me) thinks that we need less hours to teach what is necessary for P.E. than for math or Japanese.

By the way, I'm glad that people like rkold had better P.E. experiences even though it was in the same country as L.A. Just for reference, I attended elementary school there in 1969-73. A schoolmate attended off-school gym lessons while I attended off-school swimming lessons, because they both weren't provided at our school. Perhaps it would've been different in jr/sr high schools. I also recall that a Brazilian parent who taught at an elementary school in Japan in the 90s said that P.E. in Japan is much thorough compared to what he considered Brazil was doing.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/20 00:24
I think that P.E. in Japan teaches kids the importance of exercise and a healthy life style

Does it really? For example, do Japanese people on average exercise more than in other countries? (I don't know the answer to that.)

What makes me say that "nobody cares" is simply this: I have lived with a Japanese family with three school-age children for several months, and we have kept in touch ever since, plus I have regular conversations with several more. School is of course a subject that comes up regularly, but PE class in particular, never, not even to complain about it. They just don't care, and outside the PE class itself, nobody cares that they don't care, something that does not happen with math or Japanese.
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/20 00:37
Firas,

My intention is not to argue with you. I understand what you're talking about. But I am talking about something different. Writing my opinion about what you say doesn't really answer the OP's question, so I am not going to. Regardless, by the way, I usually find your comments interesting.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/22 14:46
@Firas

I do not know if you have children or not (maybe not) but if you have you would know that Sport is important for elementary schools. It is not related with marks, pass or fail but it is related to kokoro no note (moral and discipline). Even the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan has distributed manuals for teachers of elementary and lower secondary school to support and increase the importance of sports.

Maybe your view of importance is related to marks, pass or fail but it is more than that.
by justmyday (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/22 22:56
I learned to swim outside of school. When we actually had swim in High School, I believe the assumption was most kids knew how to swim. I don't remember what happened to the kids who might not have known. I'd been in lessons on and off since pre-school and also did ice skating as a paid after school activity. (Was driven there on school buses post school but parents paid additional for it.) @Uco, based on when you were in school, I am younger than you, but I also know my school system before I attended was doing similar activities because my father and aunt attended several of the same schools. I just have no idea how that school system handles gym now, as I don't live there.

I do have a child in elementary school in CT though right now. For K+First, she did climb ropes and do some sort of gymnastics and I think has learned a bit about soccer. I am less sure about other sports. I know her school is having a fun run fundraiser today and I expect the kids will be using the track in gym as well. I currently pay for my daughter to do extracurricular swim. She loves it, and I hear our town has a competitive swim team. I thought about trying to get her on Junior Swim Team, but wasn't sure we were ready for 3+ practices a week. In the past, I paid for extracurricular figure skating and through the town she took tennis and Zumba after school. (as well as art and cooking) I hope to sign her back up for Zumba. There are a lot of sport camps and sport extracurriculars here, and most parents have their child doing something, but there is a lot of variety.

Right now, kids do PE in their normal clothes and the same was true when I was in elementary. Starting in Jr. High, a gym outfit and changing was required and I suspect it will be similar here. Though to be fair, you can run in a skirt, just watch any Disney race. Perhaps @Uco your experience with PE in the US would have changed in Jr High/High school?
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Is sport important in Japanese schools? 2017/9/24 18:33
Firas,

You people really need to see more of the world.

You have a holier-than-thou attitude in your participation in this forum. I noticed this in your replies to several queries posted. Everyone is entitled to an opinion including you but I have noticed that your replies are usually condescending and insulting. I'm sure that others would have noticed this trend in your replies.
I read and also contribute to this forum whenever I see a queries that I think I have useful information that might be useful to questions posed. If I require some information I will also turn to this forum hoping that I can be enlightened. Sometimes we make mistakes and stand corrected if someone with better information to offer gives the right information. We do not throw insults around.
A few weeks back, I posted a query which you replied to. After a couple of insulting replies from you, you ended by suggesting that I posted a question using false assumptions. A mistaken assumption is different from a false assumption. One is genuine whilst the other is fake.
I have no intention of going into a protracted argument with you over the way you participate in this forum as I don't believe it will be useful given the attitude that you have shown. I am just stating my opinion.
If I have something useful or informative that I can offer in this forum, then I will continue to contribute. If I don't then I will just keep away from my keyboard.
by nww rate this post as useful

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