Last weekend I was invited to one of my school’s fall sports festival. Just about every Japanese public school has one and they are a pretty big deal. Preparations begin weeks in advance, and the 5th and 6th years start working on their presentation in July before school gets out. The festival is similar to a field day with various relay races and a few cultural additions. Each grade has a presentation, 1-4th years perform dances and the 5th and 6th years have a trick exhibition. They were all pretty spectacular. The kids did a succession of poses that increase in difficulty; starting with handstands and ending with a giant 4 level human pyramid. Not only was I impressed at the tricks these 10 yr olds were pulling off, but all the kids were doing it, not just the gymnasts.
After the performances, each team had a cheer, lead by the 6th years. This was very entertaining, and probably sounded cooler because I had no idea what they were actually saying. The rest of the sports day was pretty typical with various relay races. I got to have some contribution to the day, I was a prop during the 1st year relay. Each team had to dress up a teacher, and I got dressed up in a kimono, it was pretty fun. I also had the honor of being assistant score keeper, meaning I got to spend the day under the tent- definitely a day saver. So there ya have it, sports day, worth waking up at 8 on my day off.