Japan · JET Programme · School

Bunkasai Time!

Around this time of year many schools have their cultural festival (文化祭, bunkasai). Attending a bunkasai is so much fun, and this past Saturday I attended my one island school’s festival. It was a lot of fun and the English Club girls had done a ‘profile’ poster of me which they had displayed in one of the classrooms. 🙂

It was quite a busy day, but I managed to take some pictures to share with you.

The usual schedule for festivals (in my experience) is that in the morning the singing contest takes place in the gym. Each class sings a song that they have been practising, and usually it is rounded off with the staff singing their own song as well. After the singing contest, the festival begins and students leave the gym to go set up their own stalls/classroom activities for the public. Additionally, more singing and dancing performances by individual students or groups continue at the same time. The picture below shows a group of girls performing their dance routine.

One of the main highlights of the festival is the performance by the shodo (calligraphy) club. The girls create this massive poster to music, using huge brushes and usually end up covered in ink by the end of it (especially the girls who use the giant red-inked brushes). It is a beautiful performance and I really admire how much effort goes into it all.

At this particular school only the 3rd graders (seniors) can have food stalls. These stalls are obviously very popular as you can see the queues of people below. This year the food on offer were things like yakisoba, fried chicken, chips, shaved ice, and candy floss.

One class was holding a green tea ceremony, which I joined. The girls were wearing brightly coloured yukatas and were so pretty and just plain adorable!

I was trying to get a good shot of the girls in their yukata but they were so busy serving green tea. This is the best shot I could get.

Below is the top part of the profile poster the English Club girls did. The rest of the poster contains a whole lot of info about me, such as where I am from, my blood type (a really popular thing to know in Japan apparently), my birthday, my age (!), and my hobbies.

That’s me in the middle… the other two drawings are of the JTEs that also are part of the club. I must say the girls did a fabulous job on the drawings, especially of the JTEs.

The girls also left a note for me to read at the bottom of the poster… this made me go all misty-eyed. 😥

I’m really going to miss them too!

This was my last bunkasai, which is a pity as I really love going to them. But, I really have great memories from all of the ones I have attended during my time here. I do hope my successor enjoys them as much as I did. 😀

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