Golden Week

This is a week filled with festivities here in Japan. And honestly until this year, we just stayed on base. There will be tons and tons of people out and about(on this little island) and well that means waiting and waiting and waiting to go or do anything. My children have usually be soooo little that its just not been worth it. But this year we are going to experience it as much as possible and I thought I would throw out some information that you might find interesting and I can't wait to show the pics once Golden Week starts!!!!

April 29 is Showa no hi (Showa Day) Emperor Showa's, who is now deceased, birthday celebration

May 1 is well May Day

May 3 is Kenpo kinenbi (Constitution Day) The current Japanese Constitution was instituted in 1947

May 4 is Midori no hi (Greenery Day)

May 5 is Kodomo no hi (Children's Day)A day to pray for health and happiness of children.

More info about Golden Week from

Activities for Children's Day from

Hiragana from


Katakana from

Many often ask if we have learned to speak Japanese and the sad answer is, no. As you see there are three different type of writing systems in Japan, none of which use an English alphabet. (And I am a visual not auditory learner. The two above, Hiragana and Katakana are what is first taught to Japanese children. Then they go on to learn over 1,000 Kanjii. Please understand it is said that there are over 50,000 Kanjii characters but only 1,945 are required to graduate high school. And here is something else you might not know about the Japanese school system once around the 10th grade, I believe, if they don't pass their examinations they are done with school and not allowed to continue on!!!!! Imagine what the American school system would be like if that were the case?! Oh and home school, unheard of here because the government says once your child reaches a certain age, the MUST go to school or the parents can be thrown into jail. All public schools except what we would consider lower elementary, wear uniforms and they have no school bus transportation. They do half days on Saturdays, only get a 2 week break in March and their school year starts in April!!! If you are not Japanese and you desire to attend their public schools, you must go through very tough and serious interviews by their boards to even be considered. I hope you have enjoyed a little taste of Japanese culture and I can't wait to share more of Golden Week with you in May!!!

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