Monday, April 08, 2013

Logan's Entrance Ceremony

Monday was Logan's Entrance Ceremony for Chofu-Otsuka Elementary School.  He is officially a big 1st grader now!  If you haven't caught on yet, the Japanese are big on ceremonies.  All of the kids showed up in their little suits and finest dresses.  Logan actually has modeled in a TON of these suits over the past 6 months, but I was too cheap to break down and buy one (especially the ones he's been modeling).  My friend Mariko let me borrow her son Kazuyuki's.  He attends the same school as Logan, but is a year older.  Logan is also wearing his randoseru  (backpack).  EVERY Elementary School child in Japan has one of these.  Grandparents often buy them as a gift as their graduate from yochien.  They can cost anywhere from $200 to $600+ for name brand ones with lifetime guarantees.  Since we're planning to only be here for the next 8 months or so, Kurt found an awesome deal online for $70.   Most kids use the same one until they move onto Junior High.
Logan in front of our apartment building.
Us in front of Logan's new Elementary School (Today was Kelsie's first day of school too, so she was already at yochien.)
The Entrance Ceremony was held inside the school's gym.  The flag on the left is obviously Japan's flag and the one on the right is the City flag (Ota-ku).  The parents were seated in the middle of the gym with the new student sitting in front of them.  To the left are several school employees (teachers, PE teachers, music teachers, principal, etc.).  On the right side of the gym were representatives from the City, PTA, etc.  They each took turns congratulating the students and the parents.
The new 2nd graders entertained us on stage with Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.  They sang and played their pianicas (keyboard type thing with a tube they blow into).  A couple kids played the drums  and tambourines.  They were a full blown band.  It was pretty awesome.
(not actual students, picture taken from Google)

After the main part of the ceremony the kids were escorted out of the gym and into their new classroom to check things out. (Us parents had to stick around and hear all about the PTA, etc.)
Logan's new classroom - he's seated front and center.  He'll wear the bright yellow hat to and from school everyday.  All kids walk to and from school all by themselves (there are crossing guards along the way).  I'm just happy we're literally just down the street from the school or else I'd freak out.  Some kids have to cross major intersections.  The kids were also issued an emergency whistle thing to attach to their backpacks in case of an emergency.  (I think maybe they should adopt that practice in the US....)

Checking out the koi pond in front of the school.

Coolest Gajin 1st grader around.
After the ceremony, we all went to pick up Kelsie from yochien.  Logan's yochien teacher is now one of Kelsie's teachers!

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