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Q. What kinds of homework do the students do, and how long do they study each day? How do they learn kanji (Sino-Japanese characters)?


A girl keeps records of plant growth


Elementary school pupils get homework nearly every day. Often they have to do math drills and learn kanji (Sino-Japanese characters), which are an important part of the Japanese language.

Schoolchildren are expected to learn 1,026  kanji while in elementary school, around half of the 2,136 that have been specified as being kanji for daily use. The children have to learn not only the correct stroke order but must also master the different readings that the kanji have.

When a new kanji comes up in a textbook, children memorize it by practicing writing it dozens of times in their notebooks.

Kids also get homework over summer and winter vacations. They frequently undertake a project of their own choosing, like studying the growth of plants or researching the history of their community, and write compositions on the books they read.

Some Sample Kanji