A survey by the Education Ministry showed that students at public schools were involved in a record number of violent incidents in 2007: 52,756 cases, an increase of some 8,000 on the previous year. In almost 7,000 of these incidents, teachers were the target of assault.[51]

In that case, “thanks” would make more sense than “congratulations”.

– There are no janitors in Japanese schools. The students clean their school everyday.

Thanks for pointing it out. I’ll change it ASAP (I changed it).

You won’t find a janitor in any Japanese school. Instead, industrious students and teachers roll up their sleeves and spend a few minutes every day mopping the floors, clapping erasers, and even scrubbing the toilets. Which means that students wouldn’t dream of putting gum under their chair or doodling on the desks—‘cause they know they’ll just have to clean it up themselves.

I didn’t make any “assumptions” in this post either … I only wrote what I know. But you’re right, I should’ve written that the summer holiday at the schools I attended in Florida began in June every year. I don’t know why I wrote “July”… mistyped, I guess.

By all means. I never claimed that this blog post was anything other than my opinion (of which, you haven’t convinced me is incorrect.)

There are some religious private schools in Japan, too. Most Japanese private school aren’t religious, though.

For more information, contact the Board of Education of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and/or the municipal office and board of education in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside.

Oh, Russian schools have a three-month summer holiday like they do in America. I didn’t know that.

> I’ll be adding a bit to my own post about this when I get a chance I’ll be sure to reference over when I do that.

They say education is the foundation of society—and since Japanese and American societies are different in many ways, it may not surprise you that aspects of the two countries’ educational systems are like chalk and cheese. To find out just how different learning your ABCs (or あいうs) can be in the U.S. and Japan, study up on these nine things that are commonplace in Japanese public schools, but probably wouldn’t fly in America. 

Among cultural clubs, meanwhile, one that has lately gained popularity is the go club. Go is a strategic board game played with black and white stones. After a manga (comic book) about the game was published, more and more schoolchildren started enjoying go. Other options for students include choir and art clubs. Brass band, tea ceremony, and flower arrangement clubs are also popular.

Even in a country as safe as Japan, schools have to prepare themselves for the possibility of a violent intruder. Enter the sasumata: an aluminum pole with two curved prongs at one end which is adapted from an ancient samurai weapon—and found today hanging in schools all across Japan. The idea is to use the tool to immobilize the trespasser (who is hopefully not carrying a gun, which would be highly unlikely in Japan anyway).

Well, some basic tropes mostly. It seems to be insanely important to do well as standardized tests seem to run everything. And, maybe you can tell me if this is real, the last few years of school seem to be treated like the end of your youth or childhood. I guess the schoolwork in college and other obligations take a very strong priority?

>most (American) teenagers get their drivers license at around 16

Most schools operate on a three-term system with the new year starting in April. The modern educational system started in 1872, and is modeled after the French school system, which begins in April. The fiscal year in Japan also begins in April and ends in March of the following year, which is more convenient in many aspects.

But you still get the same three months of summer break…which is considerably longer than the summer holiday in Japanese schools. Also, I’m sure, your school year ends at summer break…in Japan, spring break is the end of the school year. That’s the point I was trying to make…not the exact dates.

Except for the lower grades of elementary school, the average school day on weekdays is 6 hours, which makes it one of the longest school days in the world. Even after school lets out, the children have drills and other homework to keep them busy. Vacations are 6 weeks in the summer and about 2 weeks each for winter and spring breaks. There is often homework over these vacations. 

That’s too bad. Have you ever visited Japan?

I’m sure there are…but, they’re mostly minor differences, I think. I wrote this as general differences between the school systems in the two cultures I know.

Japan has one of the world's best-educated populations, with 100% enrollment in compulsory grades and zero illiteracy. While not compulsory, high school (koukou 高校) enrollment is over 96% nationwide and nearly 100% in the cities. The high school drop out rate is about 2% and has been increasing. About 46% of all high school graduates go on to university or junior college.

– Japanese school children don’t take a shower after gym class.

In the Edo period, the Yushima Seidō in Edo was the chief educational institution of the state; and at its head was the Daigaku-no-kami, a title which identified the leader of the Tokugawa training school for shogunate bureaucrats.[22]

Thanks. I wasn’t attempting to cover every detail and nuance.

Schools In Japan

Also, your corrections are to minor details, not inaccuracies.

Thank you for the link. Very interesting! You’re right … eating in a classroom, outside of lunchtime, is unheard-of in Japan. As well as sitting on anything that wasn’t built for such (chair or stool).

The basic school system in Japan is composed of elementary school (lasting six years), middle school (three years), high school (three years), and university (four years). Education is compulsory only for the nine years of elementary and middle school, but 98% of students go on to high school. Students usually have to take exams in order to enter high schools and universities. Recently some middle and high schools have joined together to form single, six-year schools.

>As a future educator who is aware of the school system of both America and Japan

>Some of these people are quite ungrateful and rude.

Thank you for clarifying…but I wouldn’t say what I wrote above is “inaccurate“…I wrote about America’s school system in generalities – based on my experience growing up in Florida.

If the sasumata doesn’t work, there’s always the kancho. A favorite prank among elementary and kindergarten students, all foreigners coming to Japan to teach English are duly warned about getting kancho’d. How it works: kids clasp their cute little hands together, extend the pointer fingers, then aim them right at the unsuspecting teacher’s butthole.

The overwhelming majority of college students attend full-time day programs. In 1990 the most popular courses, enrolling almost 40 percent of all undergraduate students, were in the social sciences, including business, law, and accounting. Other popular subjects were engineering (19 percent), the humanities (15 percent), and education (7 percent).

Interesting……. for the last 2 years not counting this one, Iv’e gotten out of school in early July, as in the first day. I guess it is just the region or where you live.

Whoa, that 11 month school year is tough. In Russia we have only 11 grades (10 when I was a student in 1997-2007) and the summer vacation is 3 months. But the education level is a lot worse than in good countries like USA or Japan.

>whan I was 12 l had a chance to go and stay with a good friend from Tokyo and visit her school and stay with her family

Unfortunately I have not been yet, though it is a destination my fiancee and I are saving up for! I want to see the gundam museum and she wants to see the ghibli museum, on top of all the beautiful countrysides.🙂

There are many other differences…such as the way homework and tests are administered and checked, the manner that classes are arranged, the fact that Japanese students stand and greet their teacher at the beginning and end of each class, the way that students are trusted in empty classrooms alone…even in kindergarten.

– In America, school grades are counted as 1 -5 for 小学校 (elementary school), 6-8 for 中学校 (junior high) and 9-12 for 高等学校 (high school). In Japan, 小学校 (elementary school) is six years (grades 小1-6), 中学校 (junior high) is three years (grades 中1-3 (equal to grades 7-9)), and 高等学校 (high school) is also three years (grades 高校 1-3 (equal to grades 10-12)).

I think students in Japan are more serious about their school life than American ones, in general … but I also think that the west has an over-exaggerated image of Japanese life, too.