For some reason, Japanese educators think it’s a good idea for children to run around half-naked in the middle of winter. Thus, on Friday, my son had his school “marathon.” I showed up to cheer the kids on as they ran from their playground to a shrine down the street and back – about a kilometer. The mothers were sensibly dressed in long underwear and down jackets, but the kids wore just T-shirts and shorts on a day when snow was predicted. Several years ago the school was known for its hadaka marason – “naked marathon” – in which children ran in their underpants.
My daughter’s “marathon” was the week before. She did the course in a walker, and while wearing a track suit.
Happily, the kids were given warm drinks afterward.