Lifestyle of Japanese
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What do you imagine when you think of Japanese people? There was a stereo type image once, such as, Fuji-yama , Geisya , Harakiri, etc.. The people from another countries surprised some of Japanese; because they still believed that Japanese have still Ninja (Japanese Spy) or Samurai.
Until couple hundred years ago, Japan didnêt have diplomacy with other than a few countries; China, Korea, and Netherlands. However, after World War II, there are so many international business, or cultural exchanges in all over Japan with many people from another nations. Besides, there are many Japanese go abroad for business or studying. In this rapid changing, it seems many people are interested in Japanese Culture, Life style, Food, History, etcÄ
Today, Jason who is good friend of mine gave me an opportunity to write about my country, and he was interested in Japanese Life style, I will introduce our life style. Beforehand I want to mention about one thing. I will show some of Japanese Life styel in my note, but as you know, this is not common for all Japanese. I will try to show you most popular style of our living and its social problem. I hope you will enjoy this page, and I really appreciate for Jasonês kindness for giving me this wonderful opportunity.
Life Style of Children (Elementary school children)
Many Japanese children go to kindergarten or nursery school for couple year before they enter elementary school. It is not obligation for both parents and children but many children are attending either kindergarten or nursery school aim at learning cooperation with friends and spend their time away from their parents.
Japanese compulsory education is start from elementary school and finish at middle school. Six years in elementary school and three years in middle school. All children became 6 years old have legal right to go to elementary school and all parents who have children have a duty to let their children go to elementary school. Among this 9 years, all Japanese children can have free education. Textbooks are provided for all children who chose to go to public school. There are some parents let their children go to private elementary school with expensive tuition for purpose of getting in good high school. Because of most of the private elementary schools are attached to high-quality high school, and sometimes attached to university.
Elementary schools start at 8 in morning, generally. In first grade, they have 4 hours class only, and it gradually extend up to 6 hours class. They learn Japanese, Math, Science, Social study, Art(mostly creating by themselves), Music, Calligraphy, Physical Education, Moral education, and so on. Lunch is provided between 4th period and 5th period. Children have short free time between each class and long(about 45 min) free time and cleaning time between lunch time and 5 period.
After school, some children go to prep-school called JUKU. It is really common recently. Some of the children who go to prep-school are preparing for the private middle school entrance exam, and other are trying to catch up or review their classes at school.
About 35 children in one class, generally. One teacher teach all subject in his or her class. They have big events such as Physical Education Festival or Cultural Festival. All elementary schools are three semester system. Children have about 40 days summer vacation with home-works, 2 weeks winter off and a week spring off.
Life Style of Middle School Students
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Middle school is also part of compulsory education. Schools usually begin at 8 am. However, some of the middle schools which located in small cities begin at 7:30 am for purpose of having one more class in early morning. The reason of these case in small cities is that they donêt have good prep-school as much as big cities and parents demand school to teach extra hours in school for preparation to high school entrance exam. They usually have 6 to 7 classes in a day, which mean some of the school in small cities student have 8 classes max. They learn Japanese, Math, Biology, Science, Physics, English, Classic Japanese, Art, Music, and so on. There are more Math and English than other classes in a week. All students in same grade take same curriculum.
Middle school also takes three semester system. They have mid-term and final exam in each semester, besides, they have pre-exam for high school entrance exam especially in third grade of middle school. A lot of schools have own school uniform and school bag. Textbooks are not provided at school. Students have to buy at bookstores which is appointed by the school.
After the class, many students are attending club activities. However, there is tendency that there are less student attend club activities in big cities because of higher competition for "good" high school, many students go to prep-school after class. There are few students donêt go to prep-schools now a day. Parents are spending 15000 yen 40000 yen (130USD to 350USD) for a childês prep-school. Of course there are more expensive prep-school too.
Some say, "study 2 hours multiplied by your grade." Which is if you are 3 year of middle school, you have to study 6 hours. (Wow!!!!)
Life Style of High School Students
Close to 95% of the student who graduate middle school go to High School. Middle school students take a several high school entrance exam between January and March of their third year of middle school. There are more private high schools than elementary or middle school. Different from private elementary or middle school, many private high schools are independent. There is a big differences between high school in big cities such as Tokyo, and small cities which located far away from big cities. One major difference is that the students and parents live in big cities depend on to prep-school than school. You can see it clear on schedule of student life.
In big cities, schools begin at between 8 am to 8:30am, and they finish their class around 3:30 to 4pm. Which mean student have 5 classes or so. On the other hand, high schools in small cities, their school, generally, begin at 7:30am, because of the same reason for middle school. They finish class around 5 to 6pm. Students in small cities have to take extra class before regular class and after regular class. Which mean they have 8 to 9 classes in a day.
The subjects which students have to take are almost same at all over Japan. Japanese, Japanese History, World History, Geography, Physics, Biology, Science, Math, Geometry and Algebra, Music, Art, and English. However, often in high school, students choose their course into either math-science class or Japanese-literature class, when they are first year or second year, on purpose of preparing entrance exam for university. There are also students who study certain skill at high schools too. Such as technical skill, commercial, nursery, English, etcÄ
After student finish their classes at school, some of them attend club activity. Close to 90% of Japanese high school student who willing to go to University, go to prep-schools. High schools also have three major holidays in summer, winter, and spring. However, there are many schools have extra class during the holiday and also many student go to prep-schools. It is said that parents pay 20000 yen to 45000 yen for prep-schools. Many students take 5 to 8 universities entrance exam. Some of them take more than 15.
Unfortunately, there is statistics by educational ministry. There are 10% elementary students cannot follow their curriculum. There are 40% of middle school students answered they cannot understand what they are doing in the class. Besides, there are 60% of high school student cannot understand their class. Since educational ministry received this questionnaire, they are trying to reduce the curriculum in elementary, middle, and high schools. However, there are still lots of problem to changing their policy. Japan will have less children than ever and we are facing so many problem concerned with children.
Article written by: Saya
for japanese high school students, how much do they normally study?
to study there