May 19, 2015

The first tests of the school year

Time certainly does fly, as the first term exams are already upon us. Despite the interruptions of Golden Week, orientation and all the other requirements of the beginning of the school year, the students are now set to prove their knowledge in a week of tests. There are five terms every school year, and each one ends with the same test schedule.


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So that the students can prepare properly, all school clubs are cancelled the week leading up to the exams. This means that the first club practice after the tests is full of energy!


We hope everyone gets a good result. Ganbatte kudasai!


Peter Williams
International Department Coordinator

May 14, 2015

Rice planting 2015!

Every year the first years of Seiritsu's junior and senior high school programme go to a plantation near the school's sports ground at Higashi-Washinomiya, and plant the new rice crop for the school year.


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This is part of Seiritsu's "Earth Project" initiative, which teaches students about the values of the environment and how to take an active part in the process of conservation. It is always a fun educational experience with lots of practical field work as well as guest lectures.


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More than many other countries, Japan's cultural link to the timing of the the seasons is highly valued and adhered to. In particular the school year and fiscal year both start in spring, when the new green shoots and sakura blossoms start to show. Rice is often seen as a symbolic reference to the passing of the year, with the planting, growing, harvesting and consumption, and even it's presence as a food in religious ceremonies bearing a large significance.

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Our new International student, Tai, from China, also had a great time in the fields!



For Seiritsu's students, this first step in the rice's annual cycle also serves as a bonding exercise with their - still reasonably new - classmates. Working together under the hot sun helps form the group mentality that Japan is so famous for.


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Of course, it also helps provide a little light relief from studies too...




Are you interested in learning more about Japanese culture? Why not apply for our short studies or gap studies programme, and spend up to a year in a great Japanese high school environment while learning the language and all about life in the land of the rising sun! More information about our programmes can be found here.


Peter Williams
International Department Coordinator

May 12, 2015

Wekcome back, Jeremy!

Hey Jezza here,


I have finally come back to Japan and have returned from injury. After more than three months of rehab and various types of training, I started my first game in Japan on Sunday! It was a great feeling to get back onto the pitch and to start working towards my goals and ambitions. It wasn't easy getting here though!


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Rehabilitation required countless hours of swimming, running, strengthening, agility, sprinting and of course soccer to get to where I am today. As all of this is behind me now I look forward to kick-starting my Seiritsu career.


As for my goals? Getting back onto the pitch was number one priority, to keep improving and continue to better myself as a person and footballer is next!!

May 8, 2015

Connor's April Blog Post

Connor here,


The Start of April saw the end of my spring holidays and the start of my third and final school year at Seiritsu. It is quite surprising that 2 years have already passed as it feels like I've only been in Japan for a few months.


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April also saw the weather turn from cold to hot fairly quickly and it came as an unwanted reminder about the hot and humid summer months awaiting us. The start of the warmer weather coincided with our preparations for Inter-high tournament qualification.



The Inter High tournament is a knockout competition for many of the sports run at high school level. It is held at the start of August and it involves the best schools from each prefecture around the country, who must first qualify as representatives for their sport in their local eliminations. In the world of high school soccer it is seen as the second biggest tournament, with the Winter tournament being the most prestigious.


Bye!

May 8, 2015

Kanto Qualifiers 2015

Tokyo high school Kanto region qualifiers were recently held at Seiritsu. The individuals were held on Wednesday, April 29th and the team divisions were held this past Sunday (the 3rd).


We didn’t manage to medal in any divisions for individuals. Everyone showed improvement but not enough to make it to the higher rounds. This was true for team kata as well. The boys’ team kata was considerably better but not worthy of any medals. The girls’ team kata was not bad. However, Kinjo’s team came out strong and pushed us to competing for fourth place. By the tiniest margin, despite a tie in the initial scores, we lost our way into Kanto. It was a devastating turn of events.


On the other hand, our teams did much better in kumite than last year. The boys won their first round but had to face Hozen in the second. Hozen’s team is very tough and they often beat Setagaya high school. Needless to say, we didn’t make it past the second round.
The girls won their first round of kumite and then lost to Nitsuru in the second but then they won their next round to claim third place. This means that they qualified for the Kanto tournament in June. It was a great way to get over the loss in kata.


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There are only a few remaining weeks before Kanto and two of those have no club practice due to the term tests. The girls will have to find a way to make sure they are ready. Good luck!!


Brent Regan
Seiritsu International
Karate club coach

May 1, 2015

Golden Week is coming!

Even thought the school year has really only just started, it is now time for one of the 3 major holiday periods that Japan celebrates: Golden week.


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The famous fish flags of Children's Day.



Golden week always happens at the end of April to the beginning of May, including the four public holidays Showa Day (April 29), Constitutional Memorial Day (May 3), Greenery Day (May 4) and Children's Day (May 5). Despite the higher rates set for this time period, much of the Japanese population go on holidays both abroad and within Japan, usually to hot spring spas in the mountains that have just thawed out from the winter.


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Kamikochi, in the Japanese Highland area in Nagano prefecture, is a popular resort at this time of year. Long hikes in nature as well as cool wildlife can be found here!



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For Seiritsu, some students will be able to enjoy some time off. However, higher level students and athletes (such as our international student Connor) will be trying to get an extra boost by taking extra classes and training or playing throughout the holiday.


After Golden Week the first exams of the school year follow quickly, so we hope students taking time off also remember to study too!



Peter WIlliams
International Department Coordinator

April 23, 2015

JLPT July 2015

It is that time of year again. The registration for the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) runs from March 30th to April 30th. The test itself will be held on July 5th at various locations throughout Japan. (The test is also held abroad. If you wish to know more, check out the JLPT website.)


One interesting fact is that even those with Japanese nationality can take the test, as long as they are not considered “native speakers” or if they have studied abroad for an extended period of time.


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There is just a little over 2 months left before the test. Making a reasonable plan and sticking to it will go a long way towards successfully passing the test.


Good luck!



Brent Regan

International Dept

April 12, 2015

Connor's March Blog Post

Connor here,


March saw the end of another busy school term and opened up the way for hours and hours of football. As usual the holidays saw the football club increase both our training and playing schedules.


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The first few days of our holiday was made up of intense training and napping. Then we were off to Hasaki in Ibaraki once again for the Spring version of the Ocean Cup, the tournament in which we came 4th during winter. On this occasion the tournament wasn't as successful, however I enjoyed playing against opposition that are usually too far away to play. Besides, spending 4 days playing football with your friends is always fun.


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Thankfully we did get a day or two to rest and recover and I spent one of these days skating around Shibuya, Harajuku and Omotesando on a penny board (A penny board is a small skateboard - PW). Although I did get a few odd looks, it was far more enjoyable than walking.

April 9, 2015

Club Introductions

Today is the third day of the new school year. The first day is for returning students to give a final clean up of their old homerooms, to get awards from the previous year, and to do some other follow up work and then to move to their new homerooms. The second day is the day we hold our Nyugakushiki (入学式), which is the entrance ceremony for new students. The third day is to welcome our new students on a more personal level. There is a short ceremony in the morning in the school yard where students are lined up with their homerooms. Welcoming messages are given and new teachers are introduced as well. Everyone bows and greets the new members of the “Seiritsu Family.”


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Then, in the afternoon, we hold what is called the Club Shokai.


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All of the clubs have short 3-minute demonstrations arranged so that new students can get an idea of what each club is like. With 40 clubs to visit, that is 2 hours of watching various club presentations. And that doesn’t include the time moving between club areas. So, the introductions take up the whole afternoon.


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The students can try any number of clubs during the month of April. It is a very important decision for many as it will have a large impact on their time in high school and, in some cases, can influence their university years as well.

April 8, 2015

Marina's March Blog Post

Marina here!

Just before year 1 ended, I went to Harajuku with my friends from 1J Suzune, Karin, and Ayumu. We went to a Hawaiian restaurant for brunch. The restaurant is really popular for its pancake. It would usually take more than an hour to get in during weekends. Ayumu and I shared a pancake and an omelette. The food tasted very good!


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After that we went shopping in Harajuku. We went to 竹下通り [Takeshita street - this is the very trendy high street where everyone goes for the current in J-fashion - PW] and looked around. We bought some accessories in a shop called Paris Kids. Then we also went to shops like Wego, Spins, and ABC Mart.


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At the end we took 'purikura' - プリクラ - together, which all Japanese high school students like to do [Purikura is like a passport photo booth which you enter with your friends or loved one and take pictures which you then digitally 'beautify', with sometimes hilarious results - PW]. Even though we are in different classes for year 2, we had fun times together.

Thanks to everyone in J-class who made me feel welcomed to Japan!

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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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