Monday, October 10, 2011

千代奈の体育祭 - Chiyo's Athletic Festival

So on my second day with the host family, Chiyo had her athletic festival at school.  I suspect that most of my readers - if there are any of you - are like I was, namely having no clue what an "athletic festival" would involve.  Well, if you like, read on and find out!

First, here are some pictures of Chiyo's school - I never thought that anime-like schools existed in real life, but they do:

This is one of the classroom buildings
And this is their cafeteria
This is the green that they had the athletic festival on
I'm not sure what that big building is, though...
Some professional video-capture equipment was setup to film the festival proceedings
Of course, it goes without saying that almost every Japanese parent there brought their own video camera.

Then, the festival started:

Then there were a series of different acts put on by the different school levels.  Chiyo's grade competed in a series of relay-races, but I was on video-taping duty, so I couldn't snap very many pictures...  Anyway, here are some pictures of the various acts that took place:

Youngest kids performing

A class of boys doing handstands - not sure why they're required to be shirtless...
Part of the relay that Chiyo participated in - her team won!
Not sure what this is called, but it's gorgeous
And there were five of them

Here are a group of teachers (I think?) being lead in Tai-Chi (I think?)
by a 70-something year-old (in the suit)
And then the whole crowd joined in the Tai-Chi during the lunch break
When lunch break rolled around, Ikuyo (my host mom) and her two friends brought out all the obento (Japanese word for boxed lunch) they'd prepared.  I was shocked:

This isn't even all of it
And there were only 6 of us to eat ALL OF IT - two of which were six year-old girls
Japan and their absurdly cute food
And here is Chiyo, posing for me in proper Japanese style

After lunch, the show resumed - here are some more highlights:

More gymnastics
More shirtless boys, this time making a human pyramid
I thought it'd be amazing if they did this at night with glow-in-the-dark
and/or LED-light balls instead
We left before the end of the show, because Chiyo was getting restless.  I asked her if she was 疲れた (つかれた, tsukareta), which pretty much means tired, but not sleepy.  She responded: "Yes, I'm tired - I want to play."

I think that's when you know it's time to go.

On the way out, we stopped at an ice cream stand and I bought Chiyo a small container of cookies-and-cream.  Here's the aftermath:

Someone really enjoyed her ice cream
Hope you enjoyed this!


  1. Aw Duke!!! Chiyo's adorable! You should totally steal her and bring her back to montreal with you haha. Glad you're having fun! Weird that there's so many shirtless boys, but I guess you've probably seen stranger things since you got there :P Bless you! Praying for safety and an outpouring of love! :)

  2. This is a gorgeous post, man!

    I am super hungry now.


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