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The first day in October was my school’s big Saturday sports day. It is an all day affair the kids plan and practice for starting weeks before, and Kita is also the only school in Fujioka who does this style of Sports Day, so I was really excited for it… even if it meant working on a Saturday!

We started out the day with fireworks and taiko

All the chairs were out on the field for the day

Next was marching. This kind of style is a bit shocking to an American, but this is the normal style. Each class passes by and salutes the Principal, who judges the best class.

All the kids are on the field for the opening ceremony, and then do stretching exercises to music to prepare for the day.

All the teachers had matching t-shirts!

While some of the opening stuff was going on, I took some pictures of some of the boards in each of the classrooms

Visiting with the students

The morning was taken up by all the marathon and running-type events, everything for short 100 meter dashes, to long km runs, and everything in between

After lunch were some of the more unusual events, like this one. The smallest student in each 7th grade class walks on the backs of classmates from one point to another. If they fall, they start all over. It was awesome!

Next up was a 6 legged race for the 8th graders. The teachers also did something similar called the “mukade” (a bug like a centipede), which I participated in… my team came in first, woo!

The 9th graders had the most interesting race… each smaller group of kids within the class had a different style of race, like jump roping or the mukade stuff

Teachers and principal cheer the students on

The final running events

Kita invited two other Fujioka schools to participate. I think my last school, Ono, won. I knew all the kids from the other schools running, lol!

Some student pics

After the awards are given, the winning classes instigate a wave running with a flag, and the very last one was the principal with the school flag.

After that it was cleanup, then time to go home.