12 Most Insane Japanese School Rules You Won’t Believe Actually Exist
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Education and schooling traditions are wildly different in various parts of the world. What is perfectly normal in the UK may be completely unheard of in Germany, and the rules commonly found in the Japanese education system are certainly not usual in the USA! Japanese schools are notoriously strict and much more standardized than many schools in western countries. Nonetheless, they also net the kind of results that we in the west envy and desire to replicate.
There are definitely some rules that you will find hard to believe; the question is, do they contribute to the resounding success of Japan’s education system?
Here are 12 Japanese School Rules You Won’t Believe Actually Exist;
12. Kancho-ing the Teacher
The word Kancho in itself is a slang version of the word used to denote a medical enema, but refers to a children’s game (believe it or not). Kanchoing is more of a tradition than a rule, but it’s definitely something to be aware of if you plan to teach English in Japan!
11. No Accessories!
As you will soon find out, there is often a strict dress code in Japanese schools, but there is also a rule against using accessories to change your appearance! Students are prohibited from using colored contact lenses, dying their hair, and having unusual piercings. In fact, some schools even ban the painting of nails and the grooming of eyebrows!
10. Students are Prohibited from Dating and Having Open Relationships!
Japan takes the education of its youngsters very seriously and brooks no distractions – even from other students! In Junior High Schools in particular, this is a view which is enforced with regulation. Junior High students are not allowed to date romantically or enter into an open relationship at all!
9. Cell Phones Are Not Allowed to be Used Inside the School
The theme of education-first is one that can be seen in all Japanese school rules. As such, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that cell phones are also prohibited during lessons. However, you might be shocked to learn that they are not allowed to be used anywhere in the building at all.
8. Strict Dress Code
Only twenty percent of schools in the USA have a dress code (and they are usually private schools), but in Japan, almost all schools from Junior High level upwards have a strict uniform to which students must adhere.
Good timekeeping is a focus in pretty much all schooling systems, of course, but in Japan, it is taken very seriously! Children are expected to be in school at 8:30am on the button, and if they are more than five minutes late, you can be sure they will be punished to a certain degree.
6. Respectful Greetings
Japanese culture is one which focusses heavily on respect; respect for authority figures and elders, as well as each other, is a key part of this for school children. As such, Japanese school children greet their teachers with a bow at the beginning of their lessons and say goodbye in the same manner.
5. The Sasumata
American school children will no doubt be familiar with intruder drills, but in Japan, they take matters one step further by ensuring that there is something on hand to defend against violent intruders.
4. No Substitutes
Can you imagine leaving a classroom full of American Junior High students unattended for a full period? Sounds like every teacher’s worst nightmare, right? Well, in Japan, this is commonplace.
3. Mandatory Swimming Lessons
Japan is an island nation after all! Not only is swimming a part of the curriculum in Japan, but most schools actually have their own swimming pool to use. Students will swim as a part of their weekly education and are required to learn how to swim a minimum distance.
2. No Janitors
Part of the culture of respect instilled in Japanese children includes caring for their surroundings and taking responsibility for their actions. This is why you won’t find janitors in any Japanese schools!
1. Summer Bummer
Perhaps the biggest difference between Japanese and American schools, however, is the way summer vacation is structured. First and foremost, the vacation is only five weeks long.