Bukatsu

Bukatsu not only refers to after school clubs, but it also means school team athletics in Japan. Practice here is more frequent, especially at my school. All teams have practice from Tuesday to Friday before and after school. There is practice on Saturday mornings too.

I’ve felt that practice is less about winning or become the best team, but more about having a place to socialize and have fun with friends while practicing a sport.

Seniors don’t attend practice during the second and third terms because they should be studying for high school or university entrance exams. When you factor in all the time at school, club activities, and juku, it’s easy to understand why kids always say they’re tired. I think less regimented activity and more personal time would be better for the students’ development.

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5 thoughts on “Bukatsu

  1. Then again, one could argue that the variety of hugely cute products designed for children and adults alike in Japan is due to reduction of free time in childhood compared to the West. Nevertheless, culturally the Japanese do try their hardest, which I've seen in schools to be more than they can handle (fainting when running, etc).

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  2. I feel the same way, mostly. Japanese parents kinda expect their kids to be in some club activity or going to juku or whatever. My friends kids are barely in elementary school but are in judo, English, and swimming clubs. I could be mad, but I was in all kinds of clubs and peewee sports when I was that age.

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  3. My main argument can be supported be the 60 minutes special about sleep & productivity. It may seem like common sense, but the university study clearly illustrates how you can be MORE productive by doing less (providing more time for rest). Go to CBS.com for the details. Not only your body, but your mind (especially) need time for rest.

    Bukatsu also complicate the lives of teachers. A lot of time and effort is dedicated to bukatsu–taking away from the teachers' lesson prep or personal time, which they need. Ask a regular Japanese junior high school teacher about their schedule. Sleeping at school is not unheard of.

    “Everything in moderation” from “Discipline” by Dead Prez

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  4. And when I said sleeping at school, I meant staying overnight at school, not sleeping during the workday (which also does happen).

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  5. そうだね。私は部活には所属してなかったけど、もちろん部活から得るものはたくさんあるとは思うけど、友達と外で遊んだりするのも大切だよね。

    部活はいいと思うけど、塾は好きじゃないな。
    学生のころにしか体験できないものはたくさんあるからね。

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