Sunday, March 16, 2008

Graduation - Sotugyo

March is a season for graduation in Japan. New term of school and university begins in April at the same time with spring coming. Our compulsory education is for 9 years, from 6 years old to 15 years old. Elementary school is for 6 years and junior high school is for 3 years. The boys and girls can decide if they enroll high school or not. (High school is for 3 years.)
We have graduation ceremony each school in March. The students feel sad of saying good-by with friends and school life.
There is a interesting custom in Japanese junior and high schools. The students normally wear the special uniform each schools. Male students often wear unique Japanese uniform, "Gakuran "or jacket. When female students have an adoring senior who graduates, she asks the second button (Daini botan in Japanese) of his uniform to give her after the ceremony. This means a confession of her adoring feeling for him. If he gives her the button, this is a sign to accept her feeling. It is an indicator of his popularity that how many girls come to ask him. Who does he give the bottom? It is a topic among the students.
It is very important topic for young people, however, this custom is not serious after graduation. It is just a precious and sweet memory of school days.

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