6 Things I Love About School in Japan

I realize that I have devoted quite a few posts to things that irk me about my children’s schools, so to prove I’m a glass-is-half-full type, here is a brief list of things I love about my children’s schools.

1. Morning Poetry

Every morning my son recites traditional Japanese poetry at school. He and his classmates are going to give a public recitation later next month. Being a lover of poetry and literature in general, I think this is great.

2. Ballet Workshop

At my daughter’s school, outside experts are often brought in to teach the kids things like indigo-dyeing and, now, ballet. My daughter gets to participate in a ballet workshop at school with a professional dancer tomorrow, and next month will be onstage in the chorus during a performance of “Swan Lake.” The boys don’t get to participate in the actual dance, but since I’m the mother of a girl, this doesn’t bother me.

3. Gardening

I love it that the kids at both schools grow and harvest vegetables. My kids will never wonder where a tomato comes from.

4. Sign Language

There are some deaf schools in Japan, still, I believe, where sign language is not used. At my daughter’s school, however, everyone uses it. I also appreciate that kids in other schools learn at least one song in sign language.

5. School Lunch

In Japan, kids at school get healthy meals made with local ingredients. I also love that the kids help to serve the food and clean up afterward.

6. Music Class

When I was kid, we gathered around a piano, a songsheet clutched in our hands, and sang once in awhile. Maybe there was a tambourine or a triangle or two. But my kids get to play on real instruments. I also love the traiditional taiko drumming at the deaf school – and so does my daughter.


7 thoughts on “6 Things I Love About School in Japan

  1. those are wonderful things to have easy school access to: appreciation of the arts and practice in them, a healthy meal and the tools to grow it themselves. wow. and to think, it’s not extracurricular as it would be here in the states.

  2. Thanks for writing about these positives! Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the negative and focus on those aspects of Japan that we don’t like. I have always said I want to move back to Australia before my kids (when I have them) reach school age but you’ve given me some food for thought. Perhaps I should try to incorporate some of these things into their life at home…

  3. Sounds like American schools could learn a thing or two from Japanese schools, especially the healthy lunches (here where tater tots are considered a vegetable!)

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  5. I love this. I just found you a very roundabout way and I have so enjoyed reading your blog. I am an American mom living in Italy. Many of things you like about Japanese school I recognize in the schools here.

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