Graduating from jhs and entering high school

Yes, my fifteen-year-old son is now a high school boy!

And oh my goodness…….if you are a literary agent, you should put out a manuscript wishlist for a non-fiction account of the final year of jhs (ninth grade) in Japan, and presumably much of Asia.

It’s UNBELIEVABLE! Truly. I’m not the one to write this non-fiction book, but let’s just say that studying for the high school entrance exams is……like the plot of a movie. Highs Lows Highs Lows Highs Lows. Ending of course in a thrilling HIGH. (Like all the best movies.)

A school has to be chosen. Private or public. We chose (like most) public because it is not as expensive as private.

The problem?

Unlike America, a student does not automatically get into his or her district’s high school. Instead it is a race to the metaphorical death, a last off the island kind of thing, Queer Eye Fab Five coming in and ignoring the haircut and the clothing and house decorations and ONLY working on the testing and studying….whew!

All of Japan is rooting for the students who are studying for their high school (or univesity) entrance exams.  Even the snack companies.  Er, ESPECIALLY the snack companies.

Kitto Katto! Surely you can do it!

These are special snacks that cheer on the never-sleeping, never video-gaming, never texting, never watching dumb youtube videos ninth grader. (All ninth graders study 24/7.)

Messages:

“Don’t give up until the last!”

“Believe in yourself!”

And so on.

My son’s after-school snack.

The rice crackers are called senbei.

Fortunately, my son passed his public school entrance exam.

Lots of congratulations and cheering….Yay!

Not everybody passes…and there’s more to the story…and that’s why a book needs to be written (in English) about a typical Japanese ninth grader’s year of intensive studying. “The Year of Studying Dangerously”

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