Was filming at Fujisawa high school this time last Friday for a segment on a TV show which I'm producing called Culture:Japan. Will be first aired on Tokyo MX TV June 12th from 21:00 - 21:30 and then all over Asia on the Animax Network.
You've seen what high schools look like in 2D anime and I have always wanted to show you what it looks like in 3D real life. The great folks at Fujisawa High School let us go to film their classes, sporting activities and most importantly the Keion-bu [軽音部] (after school music activities) which was just like the anime - live action K-ON!
The whole experience at Fujisawa was fascinating - I kept pointing at things saying "its just like anime!"
The visit to Fujisawa really made me want to go back to school ^^; I sat in a few of the lessons and wish I could have participated as a student instead. In many of the lessons, I saw the teachers encouraging the students to participate in discussion and interact with each other. From what I observed, the students are extremely diligent, creative and enjoy working in groups.
We were assigned 3 students from the keion-bu who we followed around for the day.
This is one of our assigned students - snap taken after we interrogated her locker - watch the show to see whats on the top shelf inside!
We also got to look around the embroidery class too. Regret selling my Postbed machine as I need it back again.
Some of the classes such as embroidery and cooking require a change of shoes.
Just like anime! *points*
In the grounds marking the landing spot before the Imperial Shuttle arrives.
Saw many examples of teamwork being exercised through the baseball activities. While filming on the pitch I kept thinking about the anime series Touch.
Other sporting activities in the field included sprinting and football.
Uploaded the wallpaper for this to Flickr.
Forgot to ask about the cloth on the drums - to muffle the sound?
These students just recently joined Fujisawa - 1st year students.
Didn't have anything like after school club activities back in the UK during my time - when it hit 15:30, folks either went home to watch cartoons or hang around at the arcades.
What did/do you do after schooling?
With the keion 3rd year students who are about to do some practicing.
The after school activities (Bukatsu) [部活] are non compulsory (for most schools) but most of the students attend and practice. If I was a student now I'd probably go for computing, badminton or piano.
Are after school club activities existent in your kingdom? If so what do they offer and what did you take?
I was highly impressed at how diligent the students were at what they were studying and am slightly confused why some foreigners in Japan refuse to let their children go to a Japanese school. I even know folks who left Japan after they had kids because they didn't like the thought of their children going through Japanese education. How would you rate the quality of school education in your kingdom?
Entrance to Fujisawa school.
Toukou [登校] is the word used to describe one attending school but also used to describe the bit when they actually arrive at the school gates and go inside.
Filming in the corridors...
Filming at the school entrance. We took a few hours of film enough to make a whole documentary but can only fit in about 7 mins for the Japanese broadcast edition of Culture:Japan which is only a 30 min show. The Animax version of Culture:Japan will be an hour and feature about 20 mins of Fujisawa school coverage.
And this is my locker ^^;
Lost n found box. I love how Japanese society is (generally) so organized.
I left a new phone on a train once and let a member of staff at the station know. They asked me which train/carriage. They managed to figure out where the train was and arranged for a member of staff to fetch my phone for me. Needless to say I was highly impressed.
Mirrors in corridor to enable the students to make sure their skirt is long enough?
The dress code was very interesting. Girls wore different colored skirt/shirt combination's even though they were in the same year and some of the boys came in T-shirts. Uniform dress code in your neck of the woods strict or lax?
The girl at the back of the class just walked in ^^;
The vice principal was the chap who supervised the filming.
Getting a high school to let us film on their grounds required jumping through barbed wire flaming hoops - we nearly got the go ahead to film the school that Lucky Star was based on but got turned down right at the end ^^;
The approval process to film at a school is lengthy and involves parents committees and wot not.
It has however always been a goal of mine to show you something like this and I've always been asking for the possibility to film at a high school for the past few years and am extremely pleased to be able to bring you the piece.
Obstacles exist to be overcome. Obstacles exist to be in the path to a destination.
Mt Fuji is visible on a clear day from the other side of the school - we head out to see if its clear enough.
Tis indeed a clear day but Mt Fuji is covered with low clouds. The Japanese word for Cloud is Kumo [雲].
Taking a break at the road that leads up to the school entrance.
"Please take your dogs poo *home*"
Bicycles are parked in designated areas depending on the year you are in.
I'm giving an English lesson for the morning.
Please fill in the gaps.
One of the questions you wanted me to ask the students was "what anime do you watch" and I made sure to ask as many as I could.
The top answers are in this order:-
Many of them didn't even know about Haruhi or Keion. But the main reason is that titles like Keion are shown at the early hours of the morning - that's when these students are sleeping. Naruto, One Piece and Conan are shown at prime time regular hours when these students are likely to be home watching. Most of these students don't dabble with torrents or wot not either.
Could have spoken to the students all day but had a schedule to follow just like the students ^^;
Off to the next lesson.
Trying to sneak into the back of this mathematics class.
Talking to this first year student about maths and whether she would like to join the empire. She is also a keion-bu member. I'll probably have the next giveaway question as "guess what instrument she plays."
My kanji calligraphy is more than terrible! Interesting to see that all the calligraphy students were female.
Next time we'll have a look at the painting classes.
Time to be slaughtered at judo.
The teacher makes sure to remind the students to bow to each other after a match.
The rubbish section - all of this to be disposed of. I want a few of those desks!
Small but very Japanese and most importantly - just like anime! Are desks this small in your school?
And as you have seen in anime and manga - students eat their lunch in class. Parents typically make bento lunch boxes for their kids to eat in the 40 mins that they have for their lunch time. Our student makes us a gorgeous bento - you can see what it looks like on the show ^^
One of these students wants to work in organizing weddings, one wants to do volunteer work and visit the UK and one wants to work in the medical field.
Computer classes. Our student is studying some visual basic. I ask her why students have three monitors each. She explains how one of the monitor shows instructions from the teacher and that the other monitor (attached to another machine) is a backup for when her current Windows machine freezes. I ask if it freezes often and she says yes @.@
Why do some school uniform figma's come with two sets of shoes? Because students leave their outdoor shoes at the entrance and change into their indoor shoes. Indoor shoes are called "Uwabaki" [上履き].
Fujisawa school however does not enforce uwabaki anymore but students still need to have different shoes depending on the classes they are taking like PE indoors/outdoors.
The cameraman for today was Korean and he mentioned how the school layout/classes/tables and even school chime looks/sounds exactly like it is in Korea. Do the photos of Fujisawa resemble your school in anyway?
Time for a break back at temporary base.
Studying during ones Summer break means that you keep in tip top shape. These booklets contain Summer course info for students. The booklet on the right says on the cover:-
You have the ability to not loose to anyoneWhile I speak Japanese fluently, my translating ability is lousy which is a good and bad thing. Its good because it means I don't need to think in English before converting it into Japanese and also means that I can learn new Japanese words from Japanese.
Some poster art by the students - I see a musume up there!
Find out on the show what awesomeness I just spotted ^^;
Guess what this is for.
Load of notice boards all over the school with...notable notices.
The girl with the long hair insisted and I could not say no.
I think this was outside the cooking class - will take a look at that in the next batch of photos.
Everybody on the field has to wear a helmet - including the camera man.
The school have their own baseball pitch and tennis courts.
Students get ready for keion practice.
Back with the first year students practicing.
Keion third year students gather in one of the main seminar rooms.
Familiar faces throughout the day gather at the end to give us a score.
The after school club activities really do bring the students together and encourage teamwork. The teachers help identify the students strengths and assign them with responsibilities that match their potential.
I was highly impressed at the standards.
Many of the students are very sweet indeed - shame the photos cant show their personality. Some of them look like they just stepped out of an anime ^^;
More from these lads in the next post.
And that's it for today - more photos soon.