When a fight broke out between the students of an Aichi elementary school class, their homeroom teacher tried to defuse the situation by imparting some wisdom. You see, kids, “naked men don’t make money, but naked women do…”
Students who add and multiply with the numbers in the ‘wrong’ order are getting their answers marked as incorrect? Japanese net users weigh in.
Now in its third year of testing, the artificial intelligence just earned its best mock entrance exam score yet.
Most schools expect their students to attend classes punctually and students are commonly penalized when they fail to do so. At a certain school in China, a teacher used to punish his students by making them write English sentences when they were late for class, until he came across the “most complicated” Chinese character, which now has become an effective measure in keeping his students on the ball where punctuality is concerned.
If you’ve ever faced such a punishment and felt that writing “I will not be late for class again” over and over again was a dreadful experience, try writing this!
Education is always one of the number one topics of conversation among citizens. People want to know that their child is given the best education that they can get, and they will pick up and move to a new neighborhood just so their kids can be in a better school.
But just how do you determine what the best school is? A strong case can be made for Aiwa Elementary School in Tokyo as the best elementary school in all of Japan, and we are going to give you three reasons why: Minecraft, edible gardens, and iPads.
Death Note, the popular manga series turned live-action movie from Japan, follows the story of a bored young genius and his discovery of a supernatural book called the Death Note, which has the power to take the life of anyone whose name is written in it by the owner.
The sinister storyline has now influenced a real-life turn of events at a high school in the United States, where a self-styled “Death Note” was found, containing the names of 17 students, including the dates of their deaths and the manner by which they would be killed.
Japan places a tremendous importance on education. Many would even argue that studiousness is part of Japan’s national character, and diligent students are seen as source of pride and an object of respect in Japanese society.
Nevertheless, a lecturer at one of Japan’s renowned universities is calling out the lazy Japanese youths he says he encounters in his classes, while praising his hard-working Chinese and Southeast Asian pupils.
While Japan is famous for its animation, food, pop-culture, it’s also infamous for its extremely high suicide rates. Many Japanese students and salarymen succumb to the pressures of school and work by taking their own lives. There is little knowledge about what factors increase the risk of suicide, but recent research has found that people, namely adolescents, born between January 1 and April 1, are 30 percent more likely to commit suicide.
The word otaku has a long and complicated history in Japan. Originally, it was strictly a pejorative, a label used to mark those with an unhealthily intense interest in anime and other bits of minutiae-heavy hobbies. But while there are many who still use the word in that scathing sense, “otaku” has slowly built up another image as a badge of pride worn by those with a strong and enduring passion for the specific niches of art or technology that appeal to them.
That means that Japanese society, for arguably the first time, is starting to accept that being an otaku can be either a positive or a negative force in a person’ life. But what’s the difference between a good otaku and a bad otaku? One Japanese educator has an answer.
Last month, we took a look at how in Japan many children are expected to commute to school without their parents’ help starting in elementary school. That’s not the only amazing display of responsibility that’s part of everyday life for Japanese kids, though.
Not only do Japanese schools not have school busses, they also don’t have food-serving or cleaning staff. That means it’s the students themselves who’re responsible for distributing school lunches and keeping the building clean, and the diligence with which they go about their tasks would put many full-blown adults to shame, as shown in this video of all the things Japanese grade schoolers are expected to do during a typical school day in addition to studying.
Being a teacher is one of the most rewarding yet difficult jobs one can do; on the one hand, you’re helping to shape the next generation, and you get to help kids learn and grow. On the other hand, though, kids will be kids, and you’ll always have those one or two students who really know how to get under your skin.
Even the most patient teacher has their limit—they’re still human after all. Like this Japanese high school teacher, who apparently had it “up to here” with students spitting their gum out on the floor. So what did he do? Wrote a scathing note of epic proportions and pinned it to the wall for all to see.
Earlier this year, news of a letter sent to presidents of national universities—purportedly telling them to get rid of or modify their humanities departments to better “benefit” Japanese society—spread across the Internet. Since then, it has even been picked up by some high-profile English sites, with considerable (and understandable) consternation. And you can believe there were academics in Japan who were incensed at the idea as well.
But is it actually going to happen? It turns out the short answer is a weak “probably not.” The long answer, though, is a bit more complicated.
While visual arts and linguistics are both creative fields, skill with one isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for the other. After all, as long as you can look at three hues and pick the one best suited for the picture you’re painting, it doesn’t really matter if you know whether to call it fuchsia or periwinkle.
As a matter of fact, some would argue that coupling names and colors limits the imaginations of budding young artists, which is why these two Japanese designers have produced a set of paints for children that have no names on their labels, only splotches of their base component colors.
Japanese society may greatly value education, but it’s not like every kid in the country is born with an innate attraction to long division or vocabulary lists. Given the choice, even Japanese kids would much rather be playing video games or watching cartoons than doing homework, and given how active the country is in producing content for those two entertainment sectors, steering your children away from such tempting distractions and back towards their studies can be a tough challenge.
So what do you do when your kid declares he’s sick of school, and asks “Why do I have to study?” One Japanese education expert has an answer that’s half kind, half harsh, and entirely wise.
Growing up in suburban southern California, my elementary, junior high, and high schools were all single-story structures. As such, my classmates and I went through our K-12 education without knowing the excitement of the romantic rendezvous and bare-knuckle showdowns that so often occur in the stairways of schools in TV shows, movies, and other works of fiction.
Still, we made do, as the student body just had to find alternate locations in which to swap spit or punches. One thing we definitely missed out on, though, was the opportunity to create awesome stairway art, like these students in Japan who decorated their school steps with the cast of Super Mario Bros., Love Live!, and Attack on Titan.
In a recent interview, the head of Kochi Chuo High School, Masahisa Chikamori, announced that the school would be starting a Self-Defense Force Course in 2016. This course would provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to join Japan’s armed protective organization, including some combat training.
However, both the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology admitted they were unaware of this training program when questioned about it.
Many foreigners in Japan are shocked to see young Japanese schoolchildren walking to and from school by themselves, or even taking the trains or buses alone. While these sights would probably lead to more than a few concerned stares in many countries overseas, they’re perfectly typical scenes in Japan.
Australian TV channel SBS 2 recently shared a mini-documentary titled “Japan’s independent kids” on YouTube, which gives a brief look at the differences between one young Japanese girl’s commute to school versus that of a young Australian girl, while examining some of the societal factors that lead to differing expectations regarding independence for children in each country.
After coming back to school from summer vacation, it’s customary for teachers in Japan to ask their students to write a short essay about what they did during their break. Many of the youngsters no doubt spent their extra leisure time watching TV and movies, and rather than upbraid his students for wasting their time on such idle activities, one Japanese educator even asks his students for their impressions of what they watched.
At first, this teacher sounds refreshingly flexible and in-touch with contemporary youth lifestyles…at least until he singles out one anime series he expressly forbids students from writing about.
…There. We said it.
As technologically cool and fun-sounding as the “Mitsukete-miyou! Iro Kyachi Pen” (lit. “Let’s Find it! Color Catch Pen”) appears to be, it also has the unfortunate appearance of a “massager,” which in Japan, is code for…Well, look, it’s code for a vibrator. Literally no one uses a “massager” for their back or any other non-genital area (and anyone who says otherwise is a dirty, filthy liar and probably also says they never pee in the shower, which we all know is a lie, too), so parents be warned: You and your child may have lots of fun playing with this fantastic, educational toy, but you will also never, ever, ever be able to shake the image of your nine-year-old holding something they might as well have found in your secret fun-time drawer out of your head for as long as you live.