*i'm so behind on my posts...Bunkasai was almost a month ago!*
Bunkasai (cultural festival) is a BIG deal at Ichikashi and one of my favorite events all year.
Every homeroom designs class t-shirts and decide months in advance if they are going to sell food, do a game, or some other type of attraction. This is a two day non stop party. The first day is reserved just for the students and the teachers. People often say the first day is just a "practice" for the second day, Saturday, when our school is open to the public and things really get crazy.
This year I just brought my camera around on the first day because I knew the second day would be crazy (I participated in a teacher dance). Ok...welcome to the wild world of Ichikashi Bunkasai 2016...
First event of the day...opening ceremonies and the moment you get to see all the impressive class t-shirts. They always put numbers on the back signifying their birthday, or sports number, and choose a nickname to put on there as well. This year there was a bit of drama when the first year students (10th graders) had the exact style of shirt as the third year students (12th graders) so one of the teachers had to make an announcement saying if they kept complaining about it, t-shirts would be banned next year! In my opinion, the third year students were just jealous because the first year students shirts were a cooler color. haters gunna hate.
Everyone gets a pamphlet explaining what each of the homerooms are doing. Most of them sell food (beef bowls, icecream, snacks, drinks), make a horror house, some type of game or attraction, or perform a show! It is incredible the things they pull off just using their classroom and a bunch of cardboard haha.
1A replicated a popular style of gameshow on Japanese TV where you do a bunch of games like minute-to-win-it. For this one they had us kick a ball at big moving objects and see how many we could knock over. I loved how they created a system for the board to roll across the ground smoothly - clever!
3A did a maid cafe, except the maids were the boys haha! Their skirts were definitely too short but you gotta give them credit for creativity and full commitment.
They sold boba, performed dances throughout the day, and made everyone pose with them like the maids at cafes do. Hilarious.
3B has been making a short movie every year so, this being their last year, they filmed their finale! They made their classroom into a movie theatre and showed the 20min production throughout the day. I was so impressed by it! I even made it into the credits for some reason. So cute.
3C did a crazyyyyy crazyyyy Toy Story Mania cart attraction. A least one class a year does this and it is one of my favorite things. They create four or five separate games in their classroom and push you around (yes one students job is to physically push the cart) as you play the various shooting and throwing games. They try and make it as much like the real Toy Story Mania as possible and it is so legit! Also can we just admire the spot-on Woody entrance.
They even had a standby entrance sign lol! The line for this gets pretty long, and on Saturday there was at least 20-30 people waiting to play.
Loved all the decor. When I was in high school I made some posters for student council and painted a few things for dances, but I would have loved something like Bunkasai. The students spend so much time all working together brainstorming ideas, designating jobs, and creating all these awesome displays...the whole school participates and it is awesome to witness.
3D did this funny forest themed game and they had me cracking up with their "challenge" sign...especially since I teach them English writing class and I always get on them for their spelling errors!!
2I put on a high school musical performance in their classroom! HAHA...I didn't get to see it but I heard it was amazing.
2A did a horror house and had a line outside all day. They were so excited to scare everyone as make their room as frightening as possible.
all throughout the hallways students will walk around or put signs up to advertise their classroom.
3G did this hilarious play on words with "LIONEL (UNDA) MESSI" because they all love Lionel Messi and in Japanese "undameshi" means "test one's luck" so they created all these stages of luck games that you pass through to make it to the end. When I turned the corner and saw their giant Messi face I couldnt stop laughing LOL.
selling Yakisoba and ramume!
2G did a really impressive job with creating their version of Yoshinoya (restaurant chain) by changing it to their homeroom teacher's name...IKEDA-ya! Their design look just like Yoshinoya as well haha.
They sold beef bowls for 300yen and after two days....sold about 600 bowls!
Kawamoto, Takeda, Steph, and... Matsuo Sensei who always tries to look tough and scary in front of the kids but is really a softy hahaa.
Akimoto sensei is the homeroom teacher of 2B and he does two years of preparation leading up to the third year musical he always puts on. So this class has chosen to do Sound of Music next year...so this year they sold "Austrian beef plates" to raise money for next year. They went all out!
The peace sign is still very alive and well in Japan.
Another big part of Bunkasai are the performances. The sports class (1S, 2S and 3S) have a tradition of doing a really crazy and over-the-top dance every year. This was 2S doing their routine and it was just as loud, wild, and sweaty of a performance as you would imagine a group of 40 sports kids to do haha.
The music club also performed and one of my students Soichiro was the MC. He is always so so soooo quiet in class so it was so fun seeing him in his superstar getup and slicked back hair.
The dance club did an amazing job this year. They had like three wardrobe changes, danced to 10 different songs, mixed up the hip hop with the cheer and pop...seriously, I kept thinking to myself, "I could have never looked this cool in high school!"
2F did an ocean cafe and sold popsicles. One boy even dressed up as Ariel and walked around to advertise for his class.
And the craft club sold a bunch of keychains, handmade notebooks, stationary, etc. I bought a bunch of cute little things to keep at my desk at work. Love it!
I feel so honored to be able to see a real Japanese High School Bunkasai from behind the scenes. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience to be living and working here...and I am so thankful for everyday I get to walk into school and be a part of life here at Ichikashi.