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School Festivals

The sunny, crisp air of autumn in Japan whets the appetite not just for food but also for cultural and artistic refinement. For kids, autumn is a time for bunkasai, or school-sponsored cultural festivals. Virtually all middle and high schools in Japan hold such festivals between late October and November.


The festival is usually held on a Saturday or Sunday, and sometimes on both days. It's a chance for kids to show off what they've learned at school to their families and neighbors, and it offers students a change of pace from their normal school routines.


Most festivals feature exhibits and skits. In many cases, the students themselves write scripts for the skits, choose the cast, and build scenery and props. Through this experience, the students learn to pool their talents and energies in creating something by themselves, gain a sense of satisfaction, and experience the joy of presenting what they created in front of others. The festival provides students with a rich harvest of fond memories and valuable experiences.


The exhibits, meanwhile, are usually held in classrooms and feature works created in industrial arts classes, such as radios and toolboxes, and paintings drawn in art classes.