Sports Day is something that every Japanese kid knows and loves. It's a day of wacky games, cheers, and relay races. It's essentially the same as an American "Field Day"...only we stop doing them after elementary school and they keep right on going through high school.
Currently my school is in the middle of a week (a whole WEEK) of preparing for this event. Not to mention the preparations that already started over the summer holiday. There has been no class this week at all, only constant practice. Today was the "rehersal" for Sports Day in which we actually HAD A SPORTS DAY. That's right. We ran through the WHOLE THING. Crossed every "t"...etc. It was ridiculous.
Today my kids were going at it so hard that there were no less than three injuries...AT THE REHERSAL! The most serious one involved two boys who were doing the piggyback relay. They fell forward while running at top speed and the rider bit it pretty hard. He landed face first in the dirt, got up, dry-heaved, and then got right back on the horse and finished the damn race. I saw him afterward and he had a huge raspberry lookin' thing on his chest. I mean I respect his tenacity, but DAMN.
I mean clearly this all has to do with the insane Japanese need for perfection in all things. Preperashun is crushal here. Most meetings involve little planning and are simply people reporting what was already decided BEFORE the meeting...it's crazy I know...but that's how they do it. Today the teachers actually had a serious sit-down meeting about how the rehersal went...criticizing the flaws, nitpicking about where people should stand during this part, that part, etc. It was surreal. I'd love to see a group of Japanese people just DO SOMETHING for once without sitting around a planning the fun out of it for a week.
Oh, and it goes without saying that I'd rather the kids were learning during the school week...but alas...it's not in the cards.