Yesterday was the undokai (sports festival) at the yochien, undokai is a BIG thing in Japan, the kids have been practicing since the summer and there is a lot of excitement as the day draws closer. I have heard a lot of people complain about undokai and I have yet to experience one at school so I might change my mind in the future and of course I only have our yochien as experience to go on but it is a lot of fun. It is a family event, moms, dads and siblings are invited and there are events for everyone, there were also quite a lot of grandparents there too.
This yochien has been going for 40 odd years so they have to organization down to a tee, it all runs very smoothly, they start off with the running races, Ebi-kun came in second.
Ebi-kun has been practising this dance at home, it is quite a long routine for them to remember but many of the moves are the same as the routines they learn for the end of year show.
Tug O war, kids and then the dads too
Vaulting, only the big kids do this. There was also hurricane mama, a race for the moms, there are 3 classes in Ebi-kuns grade and the moms from the other classes had been down the park practicing for the race, they had also got scarves in the class colours, of course, I am in the slackers class, turn up as designated spot at the right time and just go for it! We came in second yeah! so much for practice lol.
More dancing, this was Ebi-kun's favourite event.
The dads got roped in again, the teachers/staff also had a team and they were really fast, all the kids were excited and there was a lot of shouting going on. The middle grade moms do an event where they have to grab mats and drag them to their side, ended up with major pile ups, some of those mom are vicious, I nearly broke my fingers doing it last year, the kids of course, think it is hysterical.
After this we went for lunch, because there isn't much space for everyone to sit down in the yard we eat in the classrooms. I forgot to take a photo of the bento but it wasn't very exciting really, nothing fancy!
The very last race was the relay and is very exciting, lots of shouting and cheering going on. One of the things I like is the fact that there is no real emphasis on winning, they do announce the teams/classes position but not individuals, there are no cups or no medals. The day is about spending time with your family and having fun.