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Published: August 8th 2006
This entry is not terribly important, but I wanted to show you a high school festival because they are very important in Japan, and something we don't have in America. This weekend was Kabe Koko's Bunkasai, or in English, culture festival. Pronounced boon-ka-sai. Now, this seriously has to be the best day of high school for these students- it definitely was my favorite day of work! So much time and effort goes into the bunkasai, and the results are phenomenal. Each homeroom is responsible for something. All the third year homerooms make food booths and each booth has a different theme. Themese ranged from World Cup. to a Frog, to a Pig, to Rasta colors. The students all wear matching t-shirts as well. The second and first years do a class project- it can be some type of artwork, something to show, or a game that other students can play throughout the day. All the school clubs perform or have an activity as well (including English club!). I would say that the bunkasai is the equivalent to a high school homecoming. As well as having the whole school involved, people from all over Kabe came, and old students that graduated the
My students headed into school
previous years. It is honestly so much fun. Like with the Undokai (sports day), I was so impressed with the talent and capabilities of the high school students. During their English classes they are rather incompetent...guess it is good to know they have other talents that I am not aware of!
The title of this years' bunkasai was Shout with Joy. Why? I don't really know! But, it sounds fun, and the English wasn't terribly bad, so I was down with the title. Friday morning there was a presentation in the gymnasium. This was the main music portion of the bunkasai (its a 2 day event). The school band played, a teacher sang, and then the floor was open to anyone who wanted to perform. One student did a whole magic show. Other classes did dances on stage. My favorite was the hip-hop club. They were AWESOME! I didn't know Japanese teenagers could move that way/were allowed to move that way! I mean, I get in trouble for having 'sexy clothes,' yet my clothes didn't hold a candle to the dance moves these kids were doing...it was great! I decided screw the karate club, I want to join the
hip hop club! Then the teach performed and she was amazing! After that a group of secon dyears got on stage and I have dubbed them the future ravers of Japan.
Saturday it was a zoo. There was all types of food- hot dogs, hamburgers, yakisoba, shaved ice, ice cream...it was great. I went around and participated in all the games, including a live boardgame, a planetarium, and a photo booth. Being the foreigner the students were exstatic when I came to their booth/room. Unfortunately the English Club treasure hunt was a bust...but I guess I will know better for next year. Two of my favorite students, called Red Man and Green Man, (they always wear those colors) played the guitar and sang. I was dying to get some ice cream, but the booth selling ice cream ran out of tickets. Yet after the festival I found the homeroom indulging in buckets of leftover ice cream. Again being the cool foreigner I got to dive right in an gobble up my share of ice cream as well. The weirdest part of the day for me was the closing ceremony. They actually scored each class and gave out a first
prize for the best homeroom. Nothing in Japan can be 'just for fun.' There always seems to be some sort of competition.
It was a great day and soooo much fun for all the teachers and students. It is definitely a festival that I will be looking forward to next year.
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