Japanese High School Clubs

Japanese High School Clubs

#1 Introduction

Clubs play a major role in the day to day life of Japanese high school students, and a significant portion of the day.

I’ve been in 2 different clubs since coming to Japan, International Club [インタ部], which is an English debate club, and Calligraphy club [書道部]. I switched to the latter in May, after being in International Club for half a year, starting in late August of last year.

I hope you enjoy.

Below you can find more information that I didn’t include in the video.

#2 The Video

I apologize for the poor audio quality, I’ll try and fix it in the next video.

#3 High School Clubs

There are a lot of different types of clubs, which are divided into two major groups; Sports clubs and culture clubs, and I’ve only ever been in the latter, so my thoughts here are primarily focused on them, although I know enough about sports clubs from others to share some tidbits.

Culture clubs usually meet only on weekdays, from when school ends [which is between 3:3o and 4 depending on your school], until around 5:30/6:00.
Some Culture clubs only meet once or twice a week though, like Tea Ceremony club, and some meet seven days a week, like International Club. Clubs like brass band or dance club even meet in the morning before lessons. You often meet with your club during lunch break as well, although this usually entails chatting and eating and not club practice, although occasionally International Club met during lunch before tournaments as well.

Sports clubs meet seven days a week, and can go on for quite a while. As I mentioned in the video, I meet people from several different sports clubs in my train home at 8:10, myself coming from Japanese lessons.

Calligraphy club is preparing for the school festival right now, so we meet until 6:30 instead of 5:30, 7:00 starting tomorrow and 7:30 the week thereafter. We also meet on weekends, but due to it being my last month I’m not going as I want to spend time with my host family.
There’s some advice I forgot to add in the video, It’s okay for you as an exchange student to not go on weekends or occasionally take the day of to spend time with your host family or to catch up on studying. I went every day during my first few months and missed a few events that in retrospect I would have really liked to attend. You are only here for a week, and although AFS is a school exchange program, that doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your weekends at school as well. If AFS offers you Japanese lessons, it’s a good idea to go there instead of club once a week as well.

There is usually no club for a week or two leading up to tests.

Competitions are held all over the country, and clubs often travel to different prefectures to compete. Depending on who organized the competition, students have to pay the transportation cost. I didn’t really go into the whole money aspect of clubs, primarily since I don’t know enough about it. I had to pay the hotel cost for the first few competitions, including nationals I think, internationals was covered by the debating organization.

#4 Wrap-Up

That’s all for today. I filmed this video yesterday, June 3rd, which was my birthday. I’ll have a sort of birthday related post up hopefully tomorrow on the passage of time, so you can look forward to that.

How do you like this style of post, so a video with some further information as a blog post? Also, how do you like the video itself, I do apologize for the poor audio quality. I made the club icons for the school festival towel design contest, which I sadly did win.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed, if you did,

send a postcard [I’ll add it to the wall behind me :D]

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