Sports Day Pictures

Here are a few pictures from the Sports Festival. I’ve got some videos, too, but I need to figure out how to handle them.

The students marched into the sports field for the opening ceremony. This is the school flag. The orange character inside the symbol means middle, as in middle school (“中学校”, which I usually translate as “junior high,” since the grades are 7, 8, and 9).


You’ll notice that the field is bare dirt. That’s standard for schools in Japan. The track, baseball, and soccer clubs all use the same space, chalking in lines as needed. But what’s also standard is that every school has its own swimming pool, so it’s not all bad.

Anyway, the kids were organized by grade, class, and sex. These are the third-year students as they come to a halt. Each class has a different color headband.


I wasn’t able to get a good shot of the flag dance, but this is better than nothing.


As for the boys’ performance, I only have a shot of them assembling.

I had to help make sure that no one broke their neck, so I couldn’t take pictures of the performance itself. That’s also I why I don’t have any pictures of the horse battles. Oh well.



4 Responses to “Sports Day Pictures”

  1. Nicole Says:

    Very cool pictures! I imagine the all dirt saves on water? And/or makes the multiple use easier (playing football on a baseball field with grass always wrecks the baseball field….). What are the yellow-orange things tucked into the waistbands of the girls doing the flags? The picture of the boys getting ready for their “performance” was something else! They all seem to have pretty good thatches of hair. It was striking too that except for one little guy they look so similar in size. Do the kids wear uniforms to classes too?

  2. kevinjames Says:

    The yellow things are gloves. Some girls had black gloves instead, and they all had different flags in their back pockets. Halfway through their performance, the girls moved to a tight formation, put down their flags, and put on the gloves. Then after performing with the gloves for a while (which was actually quite effective), they changed the colors of their flags. If you look closely, you can see the girls pinching the bottom of the flag-cloths. They were doing that because the cloth was only slipped onto the sticks, not adhered in any fashion.

    The boys seem the same size because they are roughly grouped by grade. When the boys took the field for their performance, they marched in and formed columns by class. Then, on cue, they all rushed to the front. For that bit, position was first-come-first-serve, so to speak, but they were still more or less sorted due to the initial formation (by the way, it might or might not look it, but there are about 300 boys there).

    Hair trivia: you can always recognize a member of the baseball team, because they all have buzz cuts.

    And speaking of appearances, did you notice the drummer on the stairs? I can just imagine the selection process. “Alright, which student would look most at home beating the rhythm on a slave galley?” Seriously, it’s even more striking close up.

    Note:  Edited this comment at 22:48, 10/8.  I fixed a sentence that I’d left half written.

  3. Nicole Says:

    I did notice the buzz cut of the flag bearer in your second picture and wondered about it – now I know! I noticed the drum (quite an impressive instrument) but hadn’t really zoomed in on the drummer. Slave galley, eh? That picture does conjure up that sort of image, all right. Or one of a Roman collesium…..

  4. The Drunken Vandal Says:

    Good pictures Kevin. Glad to see you prevented any broken necks.

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