Life in a Japanese School
By Maiko Covington

Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1991 02:02:14 GMT

Hello, yes it's me again. Once more I am here to write about life in Japanese school. I'll remind everyone that I have no training whatsoever in sociology or related fields, and that all comments made here merely reflect my own experience. Once again, please bear with me, rec.arts.anime readers.

First I would like to talk about daily "events" - they aren't really events per se, but just things that happen everyday as a routine. The first of these would be the "tyourei" or "morning meeting". I am sure many of you have seen this on the news or somewhere as it applies to Japanese companies. Well, we have the same sort of thing at school.

Basically what it is everybody lines up by class in the gym or outside on the school ground (depending on what school you go to) and listen to the principal make a very long monotonous speech. The speeches my principal would make usually had to do with nature (this is typically Japanese) and he would relate that to studying. Perhaps, "The plum blossoms are blooming (that was my school mascot) and we must let the spirit of studying bloom in our hearts before finals.." or some such thing like this.

Most people would be silently laughing and/or wishing the thing would hurry up and end. The reason we hated tyourei is that you are supposed to stand perfectly still and at attention the whole time - you aren't supposed to talk or scratch your nose or anything. Mostly what people did was to try and sneak to the back of the line to be with friends, and talk out the sides of their mouths so that no one could see. If there was a message from the student council it would be read at this morning meeting, and if there were new school rules or if the principal decided to either award awards or scold people he would do it at this time.

We also had to bow in unison - this is about 500 to 600 people, mind you - to each person that came up, and if we didn't do it satisfactory we would have to do it all again. At the end of the whole thing, they would play this awful marching music and we would march back up to the classroom.

Eww.. I especially hated it because I could never sneak to the back. See, I have brown hair, and the speaker would notice, 'a! the brown head is not in her place in line!'. Sometimes my friends would come up and join me, though. Well, it looks like I have to go and catch my bus now, so the more entertaining events will have to wait until tomorrow. Thank you for reading this.

Maiko Covington

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Additional Info:
Life in A Japanese School By Maiko Covington.
Her text has remained true to her original posting. The overall title of this section was chosen to best represent her articles rather than "My High School Days" as originally titled by Maiko-san. Her articles were originally posted and may be found here: My High School Days. You may reach her at the this email: as email in article is old and defunct.

She has been asked if she will write some more of these and her answer is, "The answer to that question is, not likely in the near future. The events in those posts occurred more than 10 years ago now, and I honestly don't think I could get myself into the same frame of mind."