Friday, June 4, 2010

A New PM and Pure Sport!

Here's my review of INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER by Julie Halpern.

We've got a new Prime Minister in Japan, Naoto Kan (which would be Kan Naoto if you said it in Japanese). I've lived in Japan for 22 months. This is my 4th!!! Prime Minister! Crazy, huh? I'm kind of sorry what went down with Hatoyama, because I thought he was so cool! At least the DPJ is still in power.

Still, I find it very ironic. The land where everything else takes so long to change, and the Prime Ministers change like seasons.

Meanwhile, on the local scene, my schools have been having their sports for the last three weeks. At JHS, it's calle Taiikusai- Physical Fitness Festival (why is everything so much longer in English?) and at elementary it's Undoukai (Movement Meet). Here are a few pics!

JHS 1st years demonstrating kendo.

White team doing Thriller

Red team dance

Presentation of prizes. I think you got trophies for the dance and the kendo demos, and you got the purple flag for winning the sports overall.

At the end of sports both teams hand over the flags to the Principal. The two team captains happened to be the two class clowns when I first came. (They were first years back then.) I was shocked to see the one on the right cry. It's their last JHS sports, and it's always emotional.

The Taiikusai is officially over, but the 3rd years lead the school in a song. Every year, the whole 3rd year bawls at this point.

My Japanese Teacher or English (JTE) was the head of the White team. Guess which team won!

I lurve the White team's flag. My kiddies make me so proud!

The opening parade at my tiny elementary. Note the Heil Hitler salute!!!

The elemetaries and kindergartens hang strings of flags at their sports. The second from the left is Brazil, as is the second from the right. lol!

The red and white things that are hanging are called teruterubozu, and you hang them to wish for good weather when it looks like it's going to rain.

The White team in the Cheer-off

Red team had cool red gloves

There's only one first year. They made him run a race holding hands with the principal! :)

Then they made all the guests race with bicycle rims. From left to right: Tiny School Principal, The Superintendent of the Board of Education (the BIG boss), and the JHS Principal.

In the Kumitaisou,

kids show off their (ridiculous amount of) strength and flexibility

Kids in their yukata, getting ready to beat the taiko drums

The PTA had a mukade (centipede) relay. Look carefully, their feet are tied together.

The majority of the teaching staff.

And in this weeks instalment of Iwate Swan, it's Halloween!


Marsha Sigman said...

This is soooo cool!!! It looks like so much fun!

ElbieNy25 said...

I really appreciate when you share bits of Japanese culture with us. If you were a staff member, then why weren't you involved in any of the events?

The Hail Hitler comment had me laughing so hard btw!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great pictures. I loved the one where the kids show off their strength.

Anonymous said...

Oh looks like so much fun! I love reading anything about Japan--probably because all of my current WiPs take place there :)

I would've loved to hear the kids play the taiko--that would've been awesome!

Claire Dawn said...

Elbie, It's weird. I'm a staff member, but not. I work at 3 schools. I'm in the Board of Education 1 day, at JHS 2 days, at each elementary 1 day. So every time I go to nonteaching events at elementary, it's anyone's guess whether I'll get to sit with the staff or be forced to be with the invited guests. JHS always has me with the teachers though.

Writemind, if you need any info, let me know. I'll try and make a vid next time there's a festival here, so you can see the taiko.