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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
International Department Coordinator