Sunday 11 April 2010

Opening Ceremony....

Friday was certainly an eventful day but we will start off with the pleasant part, here he is, all dressed and ready to go. The hat is actually his winter hat but we put it on for the photo ;o)
We started off in the main hall, we got given some more bits of paper and his class hat which is a nice bright green (very happy little boy about that!). There was some official speeches made and then sent out to the yard for the group photo. Here he is lined up with his class.
And, yes, that is my son, bored of standing in a line so he started writing and drawing in the dirt, I suspect he was marking his territory since he wrote his name in Japanese and English, at least he wasn't peeing to mark his spot!
So then we had a group photo - his class included a screaming girl and a leg clinging boy, should make for an interesting picture. The sensei was very much a no nonsense type of woman and marched them over to the right spot. Then it was time to put all the bags in the right place, I tried to take some photos around the class so you can see what it is like but they are not award worthy shots, you have been warned.
This is where the towel and toothbrush and cup bag lives, each kid has their own class sticker so they hang their things on their own hook. There is a similar rack for their hats and one outside for skipping ropes and trowels.
This isn't a good shot but to the left of the woman in greys bum, there are a set of drawers, this is where all the harmonica, marbles etc. are kept. On the wall are elephants with each child's name and birthday on it. The buses to the right have the kids name so they know which line to stand on, there are coloured lines on the floor.
This is where the slipper bag, bag and smocks are kept, boys have navy blue bags girls have red.
Here sensei is doing a song, some of the kids in his class have already done a year and knew the song, the rest of them seemed clueless, I think there are 19 in the class, screaming girl and clinging boy are attached to their parents and not with the rest of them. The boxes at the front are where the renraku and library bags are kept until the days that they are needed.
The yard, there is play equipment all around the yard, the big blue shed is full of trikes and bikes and the grounds have lots of beautiful cherry trees. The handsome chap in the middle of the picture is my hubby.
This is looking further left , more equipment, the shed to the left is the clay room and the classes to the right are the first grade class rooms. You can just about make out some kids on a slide, the slide goes into the little sand pit, I think the bigger kids use the other sandpit.
I think it is fairly common knowledge that Japanese take off their shoes inside, yochien is no exception, the kids leave their shoes here and put on their slippers, the gangplank, for want of a better word runs all the way down to the toilet where they change into toilet slippers.
And finally, this is the head sensei, he is a shinto priest and obviously loves formal wear about as much as I do, he had a suit on for for the opening speech and group photo and then he was back in his jeans :o). I love the fact that there are pretty flower beds all around the yochien too.
Ebi-kun was a bit upset because he thought the opening ceremony was going to have singing and dancing but he got over it!


  1. WOW! I love getting a glimpse into how things are done in another culture. Thanks! The head of the school looks great; given that the Japanese tend to be more formal that I'm used to, he looks like someone I could deal with well.

  2. I love all the organisation. Must be the Montessorian in me! The shcool and grounds look amazing.
    Sorry to hear about Ebi-kun's later problems. I hope they have moved on now.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing... I have been so curious as to how things were done and how the classroom was organized - boy is it ever organized! Interesting that opening ceremony was on a Friday. I would think it best to start on a Monday so crying boy and screaming girl would have some consistency. They might do the same when Monday rolls around! I remember my days of teaching kindergarten and having to comfort parents of crying children... it's all for show! They stop crying once mom and dad leave the school grounds! ;) ha ha!

  4. Awww he looks so cute bless. Looks like you had a fab day. x

  5. Hi again Jojoebi,

    I love reading about schooling in different parts of the world. I hope you will continue to blog about his journey at the Yochien.


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