We didn't attend the graduation ceremony last year because it was just about the time when the Fukushima incident happened and we decided to head out of town for a while. The actual day was cut short last year too, so I had no idea what to expect.
It started off in the main hall, The kids had to go up on stage one at a time and get their certificate and book (The Wizards Chocolate Cake, the kids could choose from 5 which one they wanted). Then there were several speeches, the younger kids sang and song to the graduating students and then they sang a song to the younger ones. It finished with the children giving their sensei a handmade pendent and then they marched off out the door.
Then it was over to the classroom for the graduation lunch with a 'special' bento and celebration manju - a sweet bean paste bun.
The bento was a set of sandwiches, ham, tuna and egg a mini hamburger, panda melon pan and a cream and jam roll, all washed down with a carton of apple juice!
After lunch we cleared away the tables and the kids played a couple of games with sensei.
There were some more speeches then sensei gave them their certificate (again) and some tulips. Ebi-kuns sensei is also the headmistress and has seen a lot of classes come and go, she is kind but strict and according to Ebi-kun she has a lot of cool ideas!
After all the we had to go to the music room so that the kids could say goodbye to the other members of staff. There are three classes in his grade and when one of the other classes came in at least half of the kids were sobbing, their sensei was one of the younger ones and so she probably has done many of these before, she was also sobbing! Of course, this set half the parents off too, I can't imagine what it was like last year since everyone would have been an emotional mess before even getting there.
I was rather nervous about what I should be wearing to such an occasion, you know, the Japanese are in general, sticklers for rules but then I have never been one to conform and I am quite happy to play the 'stupid foreigner' card when need be! The rule is for graduation you should wear dark, somber clothes as it is a sad day! For the opening ceremony, you should wear something brighter, spring like as it is a happy occasion. I don't do bright, happy colours and will be wearing the same outfit as graduation, a LBD, I'll put on some nice bright nail varnish and a bright necklace, that should do the trick! A friend offered to lend me a bright yellow jacket, erm, yeah, I don't think so, my inner goth is appalled at the thought. The big pinned on flowers were popular too, about half of the moms were wearing them.
I didn't bother going to by suitable shoes either, I just wore some little slip on flats, I can't see the point when you spend the whole day in slippers anyway. So, now yochien is finished and it is time to prepare everything for school.