Slices of life

I felt well enough to take Mia to the park yesterday. (Pregnant with number four and had been on bedrest for an interminably long spring). A welcome opportunity to take photos of my girl. It's tsuyu here, rainy season, though yesterday was just cloudy. These photos were taken at Arisugawa Park, a small park which boasts a lovely bridge and two waterfalls, lots of ducks and turtles, crayfish and tadpoles. A small, welcome oasis for city-dwellers like ourselves.




I also got to walk my younger son to school. Children typically commute to elementary school on their own in Japan, but I like to walk along when I can, especially with the younger one.

First graders wear these yellow hats so they'll be more visible. My older son wears a blue hat in winter and a white hat in summer. Children also all use this special kind of backpack called a randoseru. Other than this and the gym uniforms they have, they don't have any uniforms or required clothing in public elementary school. They do have lots of required bags though. The little bag hanging down from his backpack contains his lunch mat, his toothbrush, and a cup. They also need bags for swim wear, gym wear, art supplies, and other such things. My next sewing project is to make some handmade bags for school.

First graders at my sons' school also cover their backpacks with this neon yellow cover, again to make them more visible when walking to school. There's nothing like the sight of new first graders in the spring, which is when the school year begins here. They are referred to as pika pika no ichinensei, or bright and shiny first graders.


4 thoughts on “Slices of life

  1. Michele

    Well that answers my question about hats. So cute! Do the kids ever rebel and take them off?
    Finnish kids also go quite long distances on their own, and it’s not unusual to see packs of seven-year-olds riding metro, trams, or buses together. An interesting difference from the US!

  2. Christine - Origami Mommy

    So interesting to hear about Finnish children. I wonder how common this is in other countries. Here, yes, children who are at private schools and need to commute far away take buses and trains without grownups (and usually with other children).
    I don’t know of any child who has taken his hat off! They seem to take them very seriously, like a badge of honor…..And, I know their teachers emphasize that they must wear them when walking to and from school.

  3. Amy Hanson

    This is so interesting! I love learning things like this, about how children live their day-to-day in other countries. Thanks so much for sharing. The little yellow hats make me very happy, for some reason!…Your children are lovely. Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy! I’ll be back to see how you are doing!

  4. Tall Kate

    Oh, Christine, I can’t believe how much she looks like her brothers did about the last time I saw them šŸ˜‰ So, so sweet!
    I also think the commentary about when kids are allowed to go places on their own is interesting.


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