Today was Graduation Day at Asahi Junior High. Preparations for this day probably began months in advance...it was a pretty big to-do. It was also a very typical Japanese ceremony...a lot of bowing, serious faces, lack of cheer...but it was rather moving nonetheless.

However, the most exciting part of the whole day was the "farewell ceremony" that was held afterward. The underclassmen all lined up and bid their departing senpai adieu (ooh, borrowed Japanese and French in one sentence). They exchanged momentos and gifts...and nearly everyone cried. You have to remember that many of these kids have known eachother since preschool and now the graduates are going away (some moving to other cities) to attend high school. It was a big bowl of happy and sad all mixed together.

I tried to stay out of things for the most part, just play the casual observer, but I did get in there to get pictures with a few of my favorite students.

More pictures over at Flickr.


Anonymous Dad said...

What's with all the peace signs???

Blogger aliciajean said...

You're a big hit with the ladies.

Blogger darrell said...

Dad: The way I heard it (and this was in a book in college), at some point Japanese people picked up on the fact that Winston Churchill used to do that in all his pictures during WWII (you know, V for Victory) and they thought it was pretty funny. Japan is full of gimmicky jokes and one-liners and stuff, and they usually disappear after a couple of months, but this little meme has stayed around forever, and it doesn't appear to be going away any time soon.

Alicia: You have no idea. I'm not really sure why I'm not more popular with the boys, but I think it has something to do with the fact that English is definitely not considered "cool"...That being said I do have one really awesome boy student who I am really close with. I'm gonna do a post on him one day. He's a champ.


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