school

Ladybeard x Sailor Suit Old Man star in “dream collaboration” at school!

Frequent readers of our site should by now be familiar with Ladybeard, the eccentric jack-of-all-trades whose amusing antics we’ve covered multiple times, and “Sailor Suit Old Man,” the affectionate nickname of an infamous cross-dressing Japanese man.

You may remember the duo’s previous epic collaboration on the streets of Harajuku in Tokyo, but for fans of the unusual duo we’ve got good news–the pair have teamed up once again and are ready to share their latest round of funny photos! We proudly present the “Ladybeard x Sailor Suit Old Man dream collaboration at school.”  

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Budding Japanese student artists impress us with chalkboard works of art

Give any kid a piece of chalk, and they’re likely to draw some quick doodles on the board. Some stick figures; the logo of some group or team they’re especially fond of; perhaps even a wang or two if there are no adults around. But some kids will use that same piece of chalk to create veritable masterpieces that are so good, you’ll never want to erase them.

You won’t want to miss this collection of impressive chalk art after the jump! Here’s celebrating the talented work of artistic Japanese students.

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Korean students give their textbook characters fantastic fashion makeovers

I’m sure most of us have had the experience of doodling in our textbooks while the teachers droned on about all the math that we realized later in life we would never use. In fact, my personal specialty was decorating large chunks of text with elaborate frames of vines and flowers. Sometimes I even added fruits.

But some creative students in Korea took their doodling to a whole new level by giving the textbook figures clad in outdated fashion complete makeovers. Some of these doodlers were so talents the final result even looks like manga or manhwa!

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“Hate summer homework, kids? We’ll do it for you!” A disturbingly booming business in Japan

The following is a typical scene that many families in Japan will have recently experienced, and probably not for the first time: It’s August 31, the last day of summer vacation and the fall semester is starting in less than 24 hours. The kids who played all month suddenly realize that they have to do 40 pages of kanji and math drills, write a book report for a book they haven’t read, and fill in 30 days’ worth of journal entries–an assignment that they dutifully kept up with for all of the first week of summer break. They clamor for help, and despite the scoldings and I-told-you-so’s, “nice” parents and the more responsible siblings reluctantly pitch in.

Sure, the above isn’t an exemplary approach to avoiding bad grades, but recently an even more dubious method has been getting a lot of attention: online businesses have been offering to do your child’s homework and school projects for a fee! While the homework-by-proxy racket is nothing new, recent media coverage of the growing enterprise has brought to light this questionable practice and its appalling popularity among elementary and junior high school students.

What does this teach, and not teach, future adults? Why are parents taking advantage of these services for their young children? One twisted reason will probably surprise you.

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“Terrible, amazing things my teacher said”: Tweets from the Japanese classroom

Did you used to think that your teachers all lived in the school on the weekends? Lots of kids are shocked to discover one day that their teachers have private lives, families, and even friends outside of school. This collection of tweets are all from Japanese students – whose sometimes-cynical, sometimes-exhausted, pretty-much-always-awesome professors probably just wanted to remind them that teachers are people too.

That’s right – it’s time for a snappy little segment which we’ll be entitling, in honour of its Japanese hashtag equivalent, “This devastatingly amazing thing my teacher just told me!”

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Tohoku University evicts entire dormitory for rampant drinking, is a zany 80s comedy just waiting to happen

On 15 July, Tohoku University sent eviction notices to all 105 residents of Meizenryo, a student-governed dormitory in Sendai. The school claims that the students violated their “promise to abstain from alcohol.”

Although asking a building full of college students not to drink is like asking a building full of tigers not to scratch the furniture, the school is taking a hardline stance of incredulousness at their behavior. Nevertheless, students are appealing saying that not everyone in the dorm drinks and some should be allowed to stay.

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China’s controversial castle: Hogwarts knockoff or artistic expression?

Hebei Province is home to China’s newest castle, and it’s been the subject of debate online. It’s set to house a new university—and it looks very familiar! Harry Potter fans may see a resemblance to Hogwarts Castle; some are even saying that it’s a ripoff of the fictional castle’s design.

This castle-like campus will be home to the Hebei Art Academy once completed. That’s not too surprising—there are a lot of young romantics who would jump at the opportunity to study beauty surrounded by such novel architecture.

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Monster parents evolve: The unbelievable demands and complaints made by parents in Japan

‘Monster parents’ aren’t anything new in Japan–the complaints by and about overbearing, demanding mothers and fathers have been on the increase for nearly a decade. But thanks to a report by the FujiTV program Nonstop, the issue has catapulted squarely back into the public conscious.

The show posted some of the crazier complaints allegedly made by these loudmouthed parents to schools and their kids’ teachers, sparking angry and bewildered comments online. We’ve collected some of the best (worst?) below.

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Where can you find the most academically robust children in all of Japan? Hint: it’s not Osaka…

Which prefectures produce the best kids?

On April 2 the Kyoritsu Research Institute announced their findings of where the ‘best’ kids in the country are brought up, based on an analysis of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)’s 2013 ‘National Aptitude Test and Education Survey’.

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Japanese Star Wars notebooks: Because Jedi have homework to do too

April is the start of the academic year in Japan, and for kids, parents and stationery manufacturers that means one thing: it’s back to school shopping season. And across Japan, as elementary school students carefully write their names in their notebooks for the new year, there’s a good chance that notebook will be Showa Noto brand. The company’s gakushucho (study notebooks) are a hugely popular series of school notebooks, used by school students all over the country. Showa Noto also makes character-branded goods, and we’re desperate to get our hands on one of these new Star Wars school notebooks!

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From Tiffany to misspelled mugs: The best and worst of Japanese graduation memorial gifts

Graduation is often the most memorable day of a young person’s life. It represents the culmination of years of hard work, while also meaning that, in some cases, it’s time to say goodbye not to just a long chapter in our lives but people we have become close to. It’s certainly a day fraught with emotion!

While some may say that education is the best gift you can receive, Japanese schools like to give something a bit extra in the form of actual presents. Of course, you probably wouldn’t expect much–maybe an inkan with the school and student’s names or a cute little teddy bear. Either way, getting a bag full of Chanel makeup is the last thing you could imagine getting. Unless you’re one of these lucky students!

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Granny carries handicapped granddaughter to school every day, has never been late

Many city dwellers, including myself, complain and curse whenever the bus or train is late or breaks down mid-commute, causing us to be late for school or work. We often forget that we are in fact very lucky to be able to commute on public transport. Some children living in the suburbs or countryside spend hours on foot, some even have to cross mountains or rivers just to get to school.

Somewhere in Yibin City of Szechuan Province, China, a 66-year-old granny covers four kilometers of mountain roads on foot each day to send her handicapped granddaughter to school. That in itself is already an amazing feat, but the incredible thing is, they have never been late for school!

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Chinese classroom introduces roller coaster-style desks, hopes to protect kids’ eyesight

What’s this strange contraption? Perhaps a headrest, or some kind of anti-cheating device? Maybe it’s something for the kids to hold on to when English grammar classes get too exciting to bear!?

Actually, this classroom has been fitted with these specially-designed desks as a measure of preserving their kids’ precious eyesight.

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Is Japan overworking its teachers? One exhausted educator says, “YES!”

Japan has a reputation for overworking its employees, though it’s hardly the only country! But when it comes to education, you’d expect Japanese teachers, whose students often score among the top in the world on standardized tests, to be solely focused on their classroom materials. But you might be wrong!

One public middle school teacher has recently gotten a ton of attention online for a blog post about her impossible-to-manage duties as a “club leader” and her desire to actually change occupations due to the intense schedule. Read about her experience and the intense reactions below.

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The vocaloid classroom: Where music class meets the 21st century

Music class can be pretty hit or miss. Some people really enjoy it and find a life-long passion–other fumble hopelessly with the drumsticks and just wish it were time to start math class. Either way, we all had to sit through it, right?

But as important as learning an instrument may be, it kind of seems like music class is still stuck in the 20th century–or even the 19th century. After all, the music industry today relies as much on Pro Tools as it does on an expert bass player. So while we’ll always need skilled musicians, it does seem prudent to introduce the more technologically advanced aspects of music to the classroom, doesn’t it?

Well, one Japanese school did just that by offering a vocaloid composition trial lesson to their curriculum!

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Child stacking: The newest form of planking?

Last week, a photo surfaced online in China, earning quite a few strong comments. But what was it of? Nothing more than a teacher posing with her class!

Why would anyone care about something like that?

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Teacher accidentally fires confiscated “fake” gun in Fukuoka Prefecture school

In Japan where guns are an incredibly rare sight, toy guns and replicas can often look like the real thing. So when a teacher at a middle school in Fukuoka Prefecture confiscated what they thought was a fake gun from a student, the teacher handled the “toy” with very little care, and ended up accidentally discharging it in the staff room.

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Some Japanese school regulations don’t make any sense!

Stereotypically, Japan really loves their sense of social conformity and the comfort of their unchanging rules. The socialization of Japanese children into upstanding and unobtrusive citizens starts young and is encouraged by the country’s educational system. Rules regarding clothing and classroom behaviors are necessary in any nation’s school setting, but the institutions’ attempts to control their students seem particularly far-reaching in Japan.

Still, there are some rules that even the people who grew up within the Japanese system find particularly confusing, if not downright misinformed. When asked in an online survey how many people felt that their school had some weird sorts of rules, 12.5 percent of respondents answered, “yes.” That may not seem like a very high number, but when asked to go into detail about these unconventional guidelines, the results were still rather surprising. Here’s a short list of weird guidelines upheld by some of Japan’s schools.

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Uphill both ways: Japanese kids weigh in on the difficulties of the past, adults just laugh

“Well, when I was a kid…” is often one of the worst things to hear someone begin a sentence with at a family gathering, isn’t it? Inevitably what follows is half-remembered, half-exaggerated grouching about how easy kids have it these days with their Cell Boys and Game Phones. Unless you’re starting to get old, like us, and then you’re the one grousing!

But either way, it’s been long-established that kids these days have it far too easy–so easy in fact that they can’t help feeling bad for their counterparts of days gone by. Curious as to what the current crop of children thought must have been worst about being a kid a long time ago, someone decided to conduct a survey! We’re sure it’s probably not scientifically accurate, but the results were almost as entertaining as the response on Twitter!

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Saiyans, pirates, and Jesus all come alive on Japanese blackboards

As we saw from their hilarious textbook doodles not too long ago, Japanese school children seem to be bursting at the seams with creativity. Now, with the slightly more public and temporary space of a classroom blackboard, some students with encouraging teachers were able to create some very impressive murals.

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