10 ways Japanese high school graduation rocks

The Japanese school year has come to a dramatic close, as it does each March, with the celebration of the 3rd-year students (seniors in the USA) finally being released from the clutches of high school.

A 3-year, academic full-sprint that has no mercy and no free-time.

Today marked the graduation ceremony.

Here are 10 reasons why the Japanese high school graduation ceremony rocked. (Note: please excuse the language, or don’t. We’re both adults.)

  1. You have to practice the ceremony the day before, in a gym without heat, so the second time around, it has to be more interesting and warmer because that motherfucker is live, ya’ll.
  2. You have to clap the ENTIRE time the 350 graduating students enter the gym. Good hand work out.
  3. It’s funny watching parents come in and whipp out their own personal slippers, then putting their outdoor shoes in a plastic bag they have to lug around. It makes it look like everyone escaped a mental ward.
  4. Looking around and seeing half the people just in a dead-man sleep.

  5. Graduation day is on a Saturday. All students are required to come and watch for literally no reason. In fact, everyone in the entire school has to come. Therefore, we get a day off on Monday because we had to “work” on Saturday.
  6. It’s also fun watching everyone’s confusion when there aren’t enough chairs set up. (There are no bleachers.)
  7. Standing up super quickly. Bowing super slowly. Sitting down super quickly. x10
  8. GRADUATION BENTO — that shit is LIT!

  9. Even though the ceremony is super boring. It’s IMPECCABLY timed. Almost scary how exact they got it. Planned to start at 9:50 a.m. Started at 9:49 a.m. Scheduled to end at 11:40 a.m. Ended at 11:40 a.m. A SHORT 1 hour and 40 minutes. Are you serious right now? I think my high school graduation was pushing 3.5 hours…….
  10. Last but not least, the epic feeling of having a ceremony actually end when it’s supposed to and spending that 5 minutes of continuously clapping while the graduating students exit the gym super, 100% genuinely excited for that reason.



3 thoughts on “10 ways Japanese high school graduation rocks

  1. Haha, it must give you a feeling of accomplishment to see your students graduate. Do they have any celebrations after graduation like in the US?

  2. Hi Victoria,

    I am a friend of Liz & Donna in Madison. My husband and I live in Tokyo now and I follow your blog. We are getting ready to leave Tokyo and I wanted to reach out to you before we leave at the end of this month.

    Ramona Meher 080.9391.8830

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