Sports Festival Part 1

Saturday I went to both my schools sports festivals. These schools are in the middle of Tokyo surrounded by big buildings, and one in particular has a very small track area to cram all the kids and parents.

Chiyoda is the cream of the crop, though, in terms of public schools in Japan. Parents with the means will try to get their kids in these schools because of the predetermined path from k-12 and into universities. It isn't that unlike the US, except that the US is so much bigger that there are a large number of different paths, and few paths lead past high school. Usually after high school you're kind of on your own depending on how you did. Imagine how that might be different if the US was only the size of California. The best public high schools would be well known by the universities and all the parents would try to get their children in as early as possible.

Elementary schools in Japan are far superior to those I have seen in the US. Even the poor ones in Saitama were better than the one I went to, but the ones in Chiyoda are (pure speculation) better than our private schools in the states. I say that for a few reasons, but this time I'm only going to talk about the sports festival that happens in every school once a year.

This event is from about 8:30am-3 or 4pm with lunch in between. All the parents and anyone off the street who feels like coming show up, and there are a series of events, some competitive and some not. In most schools the children are divided into two teams: red and white. Cheer leading is a big thing, but cast away all your preconceived notions of 'cheer leading' from the US, because it is nothing like that. The famous song the red and white team sing together is awesome too. It has two parts that overlap beautifully (click here for mp3.. ). First Red sings, then white, then together. (Red = aka, White = shiro). Translation by me.

Edit: Note that the sun is considered Red in Japan, not yellow.

(1番 あか組)
ぼくらは かがやく We will shine
たいようのように like the sun
もえあがる きぼう with burning aspirations
ちからいっぱい がんばろう full of strength we do our best

あかあかあか ゴーゴーゴー Red red red Go go go!
あかあかあか ゴーゴーゴー Red red red Go go go!
もえろよ もえろ Let's burn! Let's burn! (Let's get fired up?)
あかぐみ Red Team!

(2番 しろ組)
ぼくらはしろい いなずまだ We are white lightning
つきすすむ ひかりのや a plunging white light
かみなりのおと とどろかせ the roaring sound of thunder
げんきいっぱい がんばろう full of energy we do our best

ゴーゴーゴー しろしろしろ Go go go! White white white!
ゴーゴーゴー しろしろしろ Go go go! White white white!
ちきゅうをまわる いなずまだ We are lightning that cracks the earth!
しろぐみ White team!

Great song. The mp3 doesn't do the it justice compared to see hundred of kids sing it at once.

Anyway more later.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

That's awesome!