Undokai. by Ado.

A Dad’s First Undokai.

Kee had her first undoukai yesterday (and indirectly, so did I). An undoukai is a sports meet, which is a very common part of Japanese education. Every school has its yearly sports day, and boy, do they make a big deal of it. Weeks of preparation go in it, all students participate, all parents attend and one or both of the parents even participate in one or more events. Since an undoukai is so highly respected you will also see other family members. Grandparents are a frequent sighting. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s the odd uncle from another prefecture, so to speak. We had Kee’s grandmother and aunt over for it. Sure, I had sports days during my elementary school years, but those were boring things that took place in midweek and not one family member was in sight. No one cared about it and no one remembered who won what. I think quite a few even took the day off.

I can confirm that weeks, no, at least a month and a half or more go into preparing an undokai. The kindergarten downstairs spent at least a two months preparing for their undokai. The music drove me crazy.

2 Comments so far

  1. Michael(tm) Smith (unregistered) on November 11th, 2005 @ 1:05 pm

    I’ve thought that the national government should collect data from every school each year to find out who won at that school (aka-gumi or shiro-gumi), and then compile the overall results, and then report: “This year, nationwide, aka-gumi beat shiro-gumi by a margin of XX. So this is now officially an aka-gumi” year.

    And there should be traits associated with aka-gumi years versus shiro-gumi years. For example, ff the weather is unseasonably warm one year, people could say to each: “Well, it is an aka-gumi year, after all, so that’s only to be expected.” Etc.

  2. D.L.A. (unregistered) on November 11th, 2005 @ 11:13 pm

    Once, we had one daughter in aka and one in shiro. No parent should have to choose between kids that way.

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