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Standard school bag

In Japan, for a long time, satchels have been the standard school bag for elementary school children. (If it’s not private school which has its own school bag.) Arriving in their class room, students put their satchels in their own box or hang it on the desk.

Now, lots of color variation

Before, only two colors of satchel existed. Red was supposed to be for girls. And black was supposed to be for boys. However, recently we have many other choices and the gender border of the satchel’s color is disappearing.


Record of observation of an animal as a part of science class

Often students and the teacher of the class have some pet as a part of science class. For example, medaka is the most popular fish to be chosen. Through observation of the fish in the tank, students learn how medaka spawn its eggs and how hatching happens.

The Japanese rice fish (Oryzias latipes), also known as the medaka and Japanese killifish, is a member of genus Oryzias (ricefish), the only genus in the subfamily Oryziinae.

It became popular as an aquarium fish because of its hardiness and pleasant coloration: its coloration varies from brown or yellow-gold in the wild to white, creamy yellow, or orange in aquarium-bred individuals. The medaka has been a popular pet since the 17th century in Japan.


Record of observation of a plant as a part of science class

Like the example of medaka, elementary students often keep a record of observation of a plant, as a part of science class. The most common plant used for the class is the morning glory.

Keeping record as homework during summer vacation

In many cases, students bring back their own flower pot home when they enter summer vacation. Keeping a record of his/her observation is often their homework during summer vacation, and when the vacation ends they hand it in to their teachers.

Apron sets

Apron sets hung on the wall

“Why apron sets in the class room?”, you might say.

School lunch program

Ahhh seems too heavy for her!

In Japan, we have school lunch program. So elementary students are supposed to eat lunch all together in a class room. The duties who are in charge of the preparation of the week prepare lunch.


Big notebook of teacher and all of the students

Like many other countries, we use a blackboard for the class.

Nicchoku (Day duty)

In Japan, we have a system of “Nicchoku”. Nicchoku is a student who is in charge of the day’s duties. The day’s day duties are written on the right side of blackboard. Often, we have 2 day duties (one girl and one boy) selected in the order of the Japanese alphabet. What they do is simple, giving the word of command, such as “Good morning!”, “See you tomorrow”.


Especially on the first day or the last day (graduation day) of the class, students write messages to each other. Sometimes it’s given from teacher to students, sometimes from students to teacher and sometimes from students to themselves for not forgetting the days they spent together.

“Group” mindset

Learn how to help each other and to act in a group

In Japanese school system, we have many programs that are supposed to be done in groups, such as the school lunch system and having similar bags (satchels). Japanese students learn slowly how to behave in a group, which is very important to know in Japanese society.

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