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Japanese school customs and festivals 2009/11/2 17:26
I would like to ask about 2 things regarding Japanese schools.

1st) I know about the Japanese habit of taking of your outdoor shoes when you enter someone's house and putting on indoor ones. I saw and read too about that in Japanese schools, there are shoe lockers that hold the student's indoor/outdoor shoes. Somewhere on the forum, I read some months ago, that there are also indoor shoes for guests. I think I know the answer to this question, but I'll ask it still to make sure. What about the teachers, are there indoor shoes for them too, and do they also have shoe lockers or something the like?

2nd) My second and last question is regarding the school's festivals. I heard and read a little about the school cultural festival and the school sports festival, but I don't know very much about them, and if there are any other school festivals then these two. Could someone enlighten me about the subject?

Thank you in advance.
by Leslie (guest)  

answers 2009/11/2 22:19
1st) Yes.

2nd) It depends on the school and grade, but typically, I can think of various field trips, overnight trips and ball games festival.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Detiled answer 2009/11/2 23:15
First of all, thank you for your quick reply Uco. I greatly appreciate it. The main reason for my question is that I'm in the making of writing a contemporary-fantasy story (for example like the Highlander) that takes place in Japan, Tokyo, and more precisely in a vocational high school/trade school. So I want to make it as detailed and as possible.

1st) Are the teacher's shoe lockers where the student's shoe lockers are? Or somewhere else?

2nd) Considering the above mentioned facts, could you please tell me about the school cultural and sport festival with a bit more detail, as I plane to write them in to the story, and don't want to write something that is not right?
by Leslie (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/11/3 12:17

1st) I've never seen a school with teachers' shoe lockers near the students'. Typically they are at the other entrance that is more convenient to the teachers' office. By the way, with the exception of the principal, all the teachers work in one big room. That is where they do all their work apart from class.

2nd) I'm afraid I don't think it's worth telling you about the school cultural and sport festival with more detail. Some details are easily found on the internet or in manga, anime and drama DVDs. I think it will be much easier if you make your story and ask if the specific scenes you've made suit the facts.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Leslie .... 2009/11/4 07:25
.... since I have been a teacher at public schools over here in Japan for the past 18 years, just a little input (even though most has been said already):

YES, teachers also have their seperate indoor shoes (kind of sneakers or anything you consider adequate will be fine - just don't wear rubber-boots *SMILE*!!) And there is a place where they put the outside-shoes.

Events are numerous: sports festival (undokai or taikusai), culture festival (bunkasai), school trip, for first year JHS students (at least here on Shikoku) going to a "nature house" for 3 days, the anual "barbecue" event (students go out and prepare their lunch like curry and so on), there are quite a few.

If you should have any other questions, please get with me: klausdorth(at)
by kulachan rate this post as useful

Thank you 2009/11/13 18:35
I thank you very much for your help Uco and kulachan.

I haven't finalized my decision yet, but I'm planning on having a school trip, a cultural and sports festival, and a Matsuri in the story. It can be that it changes later on, but for the moment, this is the plan.

Note: As already mentioned, the story takes place in Tokyo.

For the school trip, I planed, at least until now, something like this. I know that it is not much and that it is not so good, or maybe the order is wrong, but I think it could be worse.

1st day.
They travel by bus to their lodging, then, they head to the beach. Before and/or after the beach, they get free time to go sightseeing.

2nd day.
On the second day, at night, they'll have a dare contest or what's its official name.
by Leslie (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/11/14 18:35

Thanks for your response.

1st day.
Actually, it's not typical for a whole class or vocational/trade high school students in Tokyo to arrive by bus to a lodging and be allowed to go right to the beach. If beaches are what you want, typically, those in the 2nd year of senior high in Tokyo area would go to a 4 day trip to Okinawa. Once they are finished with their compulsory itinerary (such as visiting war memorial museums and monuments) they will be taken to a large hotel in the resort area which often has a private beach, and they might be allowed to swim until supper. Otherwise, there will be a day in which they are devided into groups to participate in one of the optional activities, and those who are done with it will be allowed to swim at the beach until supper. Sightseeing cannot be done at beach resorts (not much to see there), so they will have a free day in the city to do that.

2nd day.
I'm not sure what you mean by "dare contest" and "its official name."
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Explanation 2009/11/14 21:45
1st day.
Well, not that I want the beach, just that you said:
„Some details are easily found on the internet or in manga, anime and drama DVDs. I think it will be much easier if you make your story and ask if the specific scenes you've made suit the facts.h

So I took your advice, and saw in some animes that they go to the beach too on a school trip, thatfs why I brought the subject up. But it might be that theyfre different type of schools or something the like, and thatfs why they go there.

Anyway, I very appreciate your response on the subject and will put it to good use.

2nd day.
Well, I meant the one where the students are paired into groups and have to go through a given path. The path itself is usually scary or it is made scary by people dressed in scary outfits whose job is to scare the students.You can find examples for what I mean in:

Canvas 2: Niji Iro no Sketch
Episode 7


Kimi ni Todoke
Episode 1
by Leslie (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 2009/11/14 23:08

We call it Kimo-Dameshi in Japanese.
by xexstyle rate this post as useful

. 2009/11/15 12:14

I see what you mean now. But the school in Canvas 2: Niji Iro no Sketch is not a vocational/trade school, and is a sort of prep school. It's natural to assume they have the money to do something extra. Also kimo-dameshi in Kimi ni Todoke was not held during a school trip. It's natural to assume it's easier to organize a kimo-dameshi in an area you are used to. Either way, anything can happen in a fantasy, I suppose. For example, the key line for Hana Yori Danshi is "ari-e-nai (impossible)!"
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Fantasy and contemporary fantasy 2009/11/15 18:18
Well, my writing, when finished, will be a contemporary fantasy type, visual novel. It will be available in English and maybe Hungarian too. I canft write Japanese yet, so thatfs why it wonft be in Japanese, but anyone is free to translate it into other languages, for example Japanese, France, etc.

As you can tell from the contemporary part, it is played in the present time. The fantasy part is that magic and supernatural beings like for example Kami-sama, and Akuma exist. However these are kept hidden from the unknowing people of the world by the chosen and initiate of this earth.

As a war is coming (about 6 years after this story) between the forces Kami-sama, and the forces of Shinigami, Serpents and Akuma (Devil], both sides sends out their agents (ghost like people), labeled by lot of people as Spirit Sheppard, to recruit (aka. to change a neutral person to good or bad in heart) people for their forces.

This story would be a prequel of the main story (which starts a few weeks before the war).

This story is about Jiro Kobayashi, a normal human teacher at the already mentioned school, whose normal life, is slowly, but changed by the appearance of old and new faces. I planning on making all three main characters (Jiro and the two agents) story readable, but we will see how it will be in the end. Depending on whose story path youfre on, you get less or more fantasy. For example, on Jirofs path, youfll encounter fantasy elements only towards the end of his story.

"Either way, anything can happen in a fantasy, I suppose."

What Ifm trying to say is that while your words are true, this is a contemporary fantasy, and not a fantasy tale. The school, its employees and its students are normal, real life like, and not fantasy type. They act, live and work like ordinary Japanese people in real life. Thatfs, why Ifm trying to gather information about the given subject, to make it as realistic as possible.
by Leslie (guest) rate this post as useful

just wondering 2009/11/16 08:22

I'm just wondering why this has to take place in "a vocational high school/trade school" which is not the most typical school a teenager in Tokyo would go to, and seems little to do with fantacy.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

vocational/trade school 2009/11/16 23:33
Well, it doesnft need to be exactly a vocational high school/trade school; I probably just started planning the story from the perspective of a vocational high school/trade school, because I went to one myself and that somehow had an effect on my. Anyway, as I said, it doesnft need to be in a vocational/trade school, but it needs to be in a high school.

''which is not the most typical school a teenager in Tokyo would go to''

Again, thank you for your comment.It is greatly appreciated.

The school itself is not part of the storyfs fantasy part, only the two agents, their superiors and subordinates.
by Leslie (guest) rate this post as useful

Winter clothes at schools 2010/1/21 00:35
Hello! I would gladly appreciate if someone could explain me, where do Japanese schoolchildren keep their warm winter clothes (warm coats etc.) at school? In many Japanese movies and anime episodes that I've seen, there are those shoe lockers clearly visible, but it looks like ordinary lockers for clothes are nowhere to be found. Should I observe more carefully, or there are indeed no places where you could leave your coat during classes?
by Greg (guest) rate this post as useful

coats 2010/1/21 10:04

At the back of the classroom, there is a shelf or in other words boxes for each student with one side open. We call them "locker" but they don't lock. In these boxes the students can keep anything from school bags to coats. Most schools including junior and senior high schools have homerooms, so students can keep things there all day long, or sometimes even all year long.

Btw, the shoe shelves are located at the enterance of the building and not near the classrooms. Shoes and umbrellas are to be kept in this area.

Nowadays, a lot of senior high schools have small lockers that can be locked.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

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