The Japanese education system is renowned for its emphasis on academic excellence and its insistence on values, discipline and respect. All students are exposed to this exacting environment at every level of their early education: elementary, junior high school, and senior high school.
With six years of elementary education, followed by three years each in both junior and senior high school, Japanese students have high standards to live up to, grades-wise and values-wise.
Uniforms are mandatory in nearly all schools in Japan as they instill discipline, foster a sense of discipline and minimize any obvious socio-economic disparity among students. These uniforms typically consist of a blazer or sailor-style uniform for girls and a suit or gakuran for boys.
Schools also organize bukatsu, or clubs. Students are encouraged to join such clubs, which cater to a wide range of interests, such as sports, music, art and science. By participating in extracurricular activities, students get a chance to discover their talent, nurture them, cultivate teamwork, and forge deep friendships.
Another feature of Japanese schools is the undokai, or festival, which are annual events wherein students get to show off their talents and achievements. A highlight of the entire community, these events typically feature athletic competitions, recitals, and various cultural activities.
It is no wonder Japanese schools produce well-rounded individuals that excel not only in the classroom, but also in the field and on the stage.