June 18, 2007

Year 3 is the best...!

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Konchi wa, hi it﹊s been a long time since I last wrote to the website. Since then a lot has changed in the school and also my own personal life. As this being my last school year at Seiritsu it is amazing to see the transformation in the school﹊s international center and the change from New Zealand country boy to Tokyo city boy.


Firstly the school﹊s international center and its prestige, from not really having a formal study room, we now have a private room fitted with a state of the art computer, air conditioner for those plus 40 degree days, and 2 teachers (Richard and Cathy) who teach at a maximum 3 students; myself, Ryosuke and Jason. This is almost unheard of as most classes have at least 30 students in other schools, so not only are we getting to play soccer everyday, but we are getting a top education as well. The number of students as I earlier mentioned has tripled this year (3) so the international center now has a place on the map in Seiritsu and I am sure it will only continue to strive forward and grow.


Personally so far this year I have found it a lot easier to communicate not just on a surface level, but I﹊m really being able to talk in Japanese to the teachers, coaches and even team mates and letting them know what I truly think. This of course is built on awesome relationships where I know that I can trust the guys and the teachers, plus I don﹊t have to worry about being wrong. That is why this year I have found that the rate I am learning Japanese and the respect gained from others has grown the most.


In saying this I have found my last year to be by far the most enjoyable and can see this by how quickly it seems to be passing me by, I﹊m sure that there is still a lot of character building to take place from here on in and that I will take it in my stride and ride this last year out with no regrets what so ever.


Michael

June 15, 2007

Almost normal...

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Jason with a map detailing the prefectures and regions of Japan.


Hello everyone, It﹊s me Jason again. It﹊s been a while since I have written a post. I have been great. I have finally started my journey as a Seiritsu High School student and I must say that it has been great.


As you know this is my second year in Japan, my first year was spent at a local junior high school and this year I have started at the Seiritsu high school. I have already made many friends and I am enjoying their company everyday.


When I first started at Seiritsu I felt like any other normal kid would, shy about making new friends, but as the days went by I realized that Seiritsu is a really friendly environment. So if you are scared about making friends please believe me when I say that it is the last thing that should be on your mind because it is the easiest thing to do.


When I first came to Japan, the first six months were very difficult for me to catch a train by myself because I didn﹊t know how to read the signs. Although as the year went by and my Japanese level improved I must say that I could start to catch the train pretty much anywhere. After a while I started to remember the kanji for all the stations around the area, and also most stations have the English letters for the Japanese words on place signs, which makes it much easier to understand.


Although I have been here in Japan for one year I am still finding it very difficult to use the Japanese style 'deep-squat' toilets, soooo I avoid them. Thank goodness for western ones...


The Japanese can be very flexible, and sit on the floor for long periods. The way they can stretch their legs at bent angles, which is just their comfortable sitting position, is too awkward for me.


That﹊s all for me this month, I will keep updating you during the year with fresh information.


Jason Davidson

June 15, 2007

Differences between Japan and New Zealand

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Hi Everyone!!


My name is Ryosuke Yano. I am Japanese but was brought up in New Zealand and I have recently come back to Japan to find out more about the Japanese way of life. I have just joined the Seiritsu soccer club and I am starting off as a first year student. Although I have only been here for a few months, I have found many differences between Japan and New Zealand including culture, food and the most difficult of them all_language. Japan for me has been a major culture shock and isn﹊t quite Home-Sweet-Home.


Everybody in Japan does everything to perfection. At first it was hard to adjust because everything just seemed to be ﹍rushed﹎. However this made me realize how much could be done in one day, one month or one year. Back in New Zealand there were 365 days per year. In Japan there are only 24hours in a day, 30 days in a month and 365 days in a year and there is so much to do!!


Club sports are also very different. Club in Japan is very important and the competition is very intense. With school soccer in New Zealand I only trained two or three times a week and played one game on either a Saturday or Sunday. Since I﹊ve come back to Japan I haven﹊t had one break which has been longer than two days. Everyone in Japan is ultra fit and the reason is that we train five or six times a week and have at least one game at the weekend (usually two). We play our sport over twice as much as we did in New Zealand and I am definitely getting better and fitter at a much quicker rate.

Language is the hardest of all to adjust to. Here in Japan they have what they call keigo. This is the way that they talk towards senior people to show respect. It is probably not much of a difference to the Japanese people but to us it is like a whole new language (obviously a little exaggerated, but really it﹊s really different). The rules for keigo are hard to learn and being brought up in another country, we will only find out about these rules once we break them, but the Japanese do understand our situation and they will forgive as long as you don﹊t make the same mistake twice.


Japan is very enjoyable as long as you try your best in everything. People will trust and respect you just for putting an effort in and giving 100% every time. Overall I am enjoying Japan and am confident to say that I know this experience will get better.


Ryosuke

June 6, 2007

Sport's Day 2007

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On Saturday, June 2, Seiritsu held its Sport﹊s Festival at the school﹊s sport﹊s training ground in the City of Washimiya, Saitama Prefecture.

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All the homerooms competed against other homerooms in the same grade (1st, 2nd and 3rd). In addition, the soccer and baseball club﹊s student athletes competed against each other, for example, 1st year soccer boys versus against 1st year baseball boys.

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Events included:
1. Team relays
2. Tug-of-war
3. Group skip rope: to see which class could do the most jumps with about 10 people without getting tangled up (91 times might have been the days record)
4. 4-person land skis: people tuck their feet into straps attached to 2 pieces of 2x8 lumber, and then they must coordinate their movement forward across about a 20 meter distance without falling over.

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The sun was shining, many parents and friends came to watch, including school graduates, and there was a large concession stand selling a variety of food and icy treats for everyone.

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What some of the foreign students noticed was how much more organized Japanese sport﹊s festivals are. From kindergartens right up to senior citizen﹊s homes, people will practice for days on end in several of the events, land-skis and skipping especially, just to do well on the day for group pride. Seiritsu has 4 half-day training sessions prior to the event day, with each grade all going to a soccer field to better get coordinated with their homeroom classmates.

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Each homeroom also made a special flag, t-shirts and some students even dressed up in costumes when certain events happened. There was one student-athlete boy who ran the relay dressed as the animation character Sailor-Moon.


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There are several key dates in the year for every school; Sport﹊s Festival, Culture Festival and Graduation.
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From now until the end of September, all the school﹊s clubs will begin to focus on the Culture Festival as the next big school event here at the Tokyo Campus.

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about Seiritsu

Seiritsu Gakuen is a private co-educational high school created in 1925 and it is located in Tokyo, Japan.

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