There are eight first-year students. The morning starts with Homeroom.
Students make hamochi rice-cakes during a local-cooking practical.
Hamochi rice-cakes are wrapped in leaves gathered on the island.The rice-cakes are made from a mixture of the flour of sticky mochi rice and ordinary rice. Red adzuki-bean paste is inserted, and the whole is then steamed.
The harbor is the center of Nushima, and just a few minutes walk away stands a three-story building with white walls and a red roof. This is the main building of Nushima Middle School. On the first floor are the principal's office and the teachers' lounge. The second floor contains all of the regular classrooms. The classrooms for science and home economics are both on the third floor. A gymnasium is located in a separate building nearby.
School starts at 8:15 AM with homeroom, and first-period classes begin at 8:35. There are four 50-minute classes in the morning and one or two in the afternoon. After school the children participate in club activities until nearly 6:00. Because there are only 22 of them, every student belongs to the soft tennis club.
In addition to required courses and electives, some classes are being planned that are unique to Nushima. For example, as a part of the home economics curriculum, the school is creating a class that will teach students how to make hamochi, a kind of rice-cake made in Nushima. In physical education class students learn how to sail a simple yacht. It is quite hard to catch hold of the wind and get the yacht to move forward.
Getting ready for sailing practice.
Boys play go and shogi in the principal's office during the lunch break. Principal Fujimoto holds their play in high regard: "They're all pretty good."
As there are 13 teachers and only 22 students in the school, teachers and students are able to form close bonds. After lunch is finished, many of the boys at school can often be seen in the principal's office playing shogi (Japanese chess) with him. The students' families and the townspeople are also closely involved with the school. On days when the school does not provide lunch, parents come to the school to bring a bento (box lunch) to their kids. Parents and other people in the town feel free to come visit the school at any time, and sometimes they bring rare and unusual fish that they have caught. These fish can be seen swimming peacefully in a large aquarium by the entrance of the school.