Kindergarten / 幼稚園
Earthquake drill in a Japanese kindergarten. During the day, kids sit on cushions on their seats. During an emergency, these cushions transform into protective covers to help shield the students from falling debris. The cushions also have contact information should the kid get lost during an emergency.
Mascots are massive over here. Last month the mascot for Chiba prefecture visited my school to teach the kids about the food produced in the region, as well as special areas of interest. As you can imagine, when this furry bastard started singing, dancing and jumping about it was pretty much pandemonium.
Every year in February my school transforms each of its classrooms into original art projects. This is a work in progress of a dinosaur-themed room – where each kid designed a dinosaur egg which had their own special dinosaur inside. The finished wall now includes volcanoes and all sorts of other cool stuff.
One of my younger students refuses to participate in any classes unless she wears a cape. I can’t really say anything more than that.
My school’s graduation ceremony is in a week’s time. This is a photo from last year; the teachers who have classes graduating will be wearing kimonos, as will many of the parents. Kindergarten is a huge deal in Japan, and the graduation ceremony at my school last year was bigger than my own one at university.