Home > Japanese Culture > After elementary school, you see many differences

After elementary school, you see many differences

Age during junior high school
After graduating from elementary school, you throw your randoseru and put an uniform of junior high school when you get 13 years old.

I had a strange feeling when I enrolled the junior high school. One of my friends, who was one year older than me, changed his attitude when I started my junior high school student life. It was totally, so to speak, senpai(means ‘senior’). While we shouldered our randoseru together, we thought ourselves as the same aged friends, however, once he entered the junior high school, he had an atmosphere like ‘Don’t talk to me in that tone of voice.’

gaku ran(for men)
The most defferent part between elementary school and junior high school is to put an uniform or not. We call uniforms in school gakuseihuku or gaku ran(one of slangs). There are many kind of gakuseihuku in Japan. Especially ‘yankee’, who is like a pretty gangster or a bad boy, always like arranging their own gakuseihuku. ‘yankee’, I think the word was originated from America, however, we treat ‘yankee’ as young gangsters or bad boys when we use it in Japan.

gakuseihuku indicates both pants and a jacket. Teachers in junior high school strictly treat us by rules. Under strict rules, ‘yankee’ often put tyou ran or tan ran as a jacket and bon tan as pants.

tyou of tyou ran literally means long. How could I say…the parts around pockets of jackets…If these part are too long, we call jackets tyou ran. If these part are short, we call them tan ran. Incidentally, there is tyuu ran, as a jacket whose the part around pockets is neither short nor too long.

bon tan are pants. I don’t know why they call bon tan, however, we call pants whose the parts from thighs to knees are wide bon tan.

You can see what tyou ran, tan ran and bon tan. Strictly speaking, the character called Toru Nakama put tyuu ran, not tyou ran.

Unfortunately(?), the number of ‘yankee’ in Japan is decreasing. Now that I think you might no longer see them in Tokyo. The film I introduced to you was broadcasted in 1984. The time has changed. After that, chi-ma- or color gang had appeared. Now I don’t know how students these days have their fashion.

You can see what chi-ma- or color gang are like in this film.

In this film, young people putting hip-pop like clothes and each team members put the same colors. This drama was also broadcasted in around 2000, so it might already be old-fashioned.

Life in junior high school
Except of ‘yankee’, mainly students spend their life in junior high school studying and working in clubs. We have also haruyasumi, natsuyasumi and huyuyasumi as well as elementary school days, but during these holidays, we often go to the school and enjoy our own club’s activities. Maybe the word ‘enjoy’ is not really proper. When I was a junior high school student, I played soccer in the club. While training, I felt I was in hell or somewhere. Incidentally, I was a goal keeper.

The extinct tradition(at least in my region)
Now that there is no such a tradition in my region. I had it in my age. That was bouzu(means croppy), to have male student’s hair cropped short. Before I enrolled the junior high school, I had to have my hair cut like an rookie soldier in armies. We call it bouze.
When I was the 3rd grades in the junior high school, the activities appeared among us in order to change the rules of the school. The largest target of changes of the rule was ‘no more bouzes’. Before I graduated, the dream came true.

A romantic action
I don’t know if this tradition still exists, but it sounds romantic for me, so I’ll introduce you it. We have the graduation ceremony every year. At that time, girls try to ask the men they love to give men’s second button of their uniform. It is okay for girls to get nahuda(means a nameplate) from the men. Incidentally, when I was the second grades, I had a girl in the 3rd grades who I was in love. So I asked her to give her nameplate when she graduated. When I graduated, I had my three buttons taken. My glory days had already gone since the moment and never come back…lol

Except of people who took examinations to enroll private junior high schools, we have to face the first examination to enter high schools. Checking our own performance, we have to decide where we should(or can be allowed to) go.

At the end of the 2nd grades’ term, I had an interview about which high schools I should choose with my teacher. He thought I wanted to enroll the best high school in our Peninsula. But I said NO. He asked me why I said No. I explained the reason to him like that; ‘I’m in love with one girl who already graduated. She is in other high school. Actually, although the high school has lower levels than the school you suggested, I’d like to be there. You can study anything wherever you are, can’t you? That’s the high school I want to go.’ Ofcourse it was one-way love, but I really thought like that. But the teacher smiled on his face and said, ‘Hey, HoneyPotter, there are plenty fish in the sea. So you should not choose your high school with such a reason.’ I didn’t think so at that time, however, later I knew I would be able to play the guitar in the high school which the teacher recommended. So I changed my plan.

O.K. I’ll introduce high school lives in the next article. And one more thing, I’ll reply for your comments in another day. Sorry about that.

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  1. November 17, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Hi 🙂

    How are ya?

    Enjoy being the wrong word. :lol Do they force you to do those activities? No force is the wrong word. Do they “encourage” you take part in those activities.

    When you reach junior high school, it’s like you’re entering the world of being an almost adult; although some think that they’re adults. So yeah, some will look down on you and make new friends.

    There’s school violence everywhere, but were they exaggerating in those video clips?

    This is a lot to read and to digest. I’ll take one paragraph at a time and respond.

    • honeypotter
      November 17, 2009 at 9:54 am

      Hi, girlgeum 😀 It’s raining here.

      I guess bon tan has now been one of dead words 😆 The young put their pants around lower part of thier waist now.

      Yeah, yeah, yeah, the film I introduced is just a muvie. Besides, it’s rather a comedy in fact. Toru Nakamura, one of the main actor of the movie, he got older and has become a good father. 😀

  2. November 18, 2009 at 7:36 am

    We have cooler temperatures. I’m smiling from ear to ear.

    We wear uniforms from pre-school to high schools. The girls skirts or jumper uniforms suppose to be below the knees. But of course that isn’t the case.

    Do you have a favorite movie and actor?

    I leave you with a song. Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams.

    Haven’t listen to Home Sweet Home yet. Will later.

    • honeypotter
      November 18, 2009 at 3:28 pm

      Hi, girlgeum, how’s it goin’?

      >Do you have a favorite movie and actor?

      My favorite actor is…Tom Cruise, but unfortunately, I don’t think he got good movies 😀 My favorite movie is…ummm…I got many…ummm…how about ‘the lake house’?

      Oh, Bryan Adams! I have his CDs, ofcourse I know “Summer of ’69”! “Heaven” and “(Everything) do it for you”, were recorded in the same CD with “Summer of ’69”. I like them. I often sing them at karaoke 😀

  3. November 19, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Hi H.P. 🙂

    Boys school uniforms pants, some, are so baggy that they’re drooping beyond their waists.

    The first time I saw Tom Cruise was in the movie Top Gun. I love that movie. Yeah, sometimes he’s acted in some real duds. I don’t have a favorite actor or movie.

    Listened to Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue, and it’s like Faithfully by Journey. Lyrics aren’t the same, but the meanings are similar.

    Yes, and those three songs by Bryan Adams I love.

    • honeypotter
      November 19, 2009 at 12:41 pm

      Thank you so much, girlgeum! You often give me new words. This time, I got ‘baggy’ from your comment. ‘chubby’ the word which you gave me before when I wrote my sister’s baby. Ever since I got ‘chubby’ from you, I always used it to the baby. I said this word so much that my sister got a little angry…hehehe. ‘My baby is not so chubby!’ said she to me. Yeah, I wanted to express bon tan like baggy pants.

      Yeah, ‘Top Gun’, I love it, too! Ofcourse I hate wars, but I love airfighters flying in the movies, like F-14 in ‘Top Gun’.

  4. November 20, 2009 at 7:58 am

    You’re welcome. The goalkeeper. I take it you weren’t having fun. 🙂

    I love soccer. My favorite team is Liverpool FC out of England. Although at the moment, I think they forgot how to play soccer because they’re playing so bad.

  5. Mugami
    November 20, 2009 at 10:52 am

    We use ‘goalie’ here in the States. And the long jackets are ‘trenchcoats’. Oh, if we really want to talk about how we say things HERE about the colors. It would be: ‘They be frontin’ dos colors, fo real dawg.’ Or, ‘They be representin’, yo.’ But, that is BAD english usage. Ebonics, actually. Both, ‘fronting’ and ‘representing’ can be used in this context to mean ‘wearing to show membership or loyalty’. But, depending on context and tone ‘fronting’ can also mean ‘faking or lying’. Like, ‘Dat bitch be frontin’.’ (Translation: That bitch is/was fronting.) Means, ‘That person I have no respect for is/was/has been lying about (whatever the topic is). Did that make sense to you? I know that one is really tough, to understand. I thought you guys called them ‘hamakun’ because of the pants, or ‘baradakun’ because they’re trying to act black. I got a book on the current slang in Shibouya, I’ll have to check on that one.

  6. Mugami
    November 20, 2009 at 11:03 am

    And my favorite actor is Edward Norton. Watch ‘American History X’. That movie deals with gang violence and racism in america. It is an excellent movie. Very honest. Norton’s performance in that movie is what started his career. He won an Oscar, or something, for it. And do you guys listen to any music from after 1993 or what? I not making fun of you two. I’m just wondering if this is because of your ages or because you’re not in america.

    • honeypotter
      November 23, 2009 at 7:07 pm

      Hi, Mugami

      Oh, ‘goalie’! It’s my first time to hear that. And ebonics… As you said, I don’t think I should use them, but I think I should know them.

      Ummm…’hamakun’ or ‘baradakun’…you got them with some sort of Japanese book? I’ve never seen them. Wait a minute, I’ll check them right now. Ummm…I couldn’t find them, so I asked my friends if there would be.

      Edward Norton? Acted in ‘fight club’? O.K. I’ll check ‘American History X’

  7. November 23, 2009 at 8:20 am

    I love music from any era and genre. After 1193, hmm. Nickelback. Creed. Lifehouse. Switchfoot. Jars of Clay. Gackt. Just to name a few. But I love and appreciate any recommended music. 🙂

    • honeypotter
      November 23, 2009 at 6:31 pm

      Oh, Gackt again. I just watch one TV program. Gackt cooked Chinese cuisine in that program. He talks very well and funny. He got a waterfall in his room in order to relax and absorb ions. Great, isn’t it?

  8. November 24, 2009 at 7:57 am

    After 1993, not 1193. Gosh, I was nowhere thinking about being born in that time.

    Waterfall in his room. I think I’ll buy the sound of a waterfall on a CD, much cheaper. 😆

    There’s a movie with Edward Norton where he’s going off to jail, but before he goes, he have a party or something. I have to look it up. He once said that he never wants to become so famous that he can’t ride the subway in New York.

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