Amparo Bertram (spacealien_vamp) wrote,
Amparo Bertram

We don't need no stinkin' bleachers

In anticipation of the school "pep rally" this afternoon, the exchange student and I discussed the fact that Japanese high school gyms have no bleachers. I've never seen them in any of the three high schools where I've worked. The students (and teachers) always just sit on the floor. On special occasions, like graduation, they bring in a bunch of folding chairs, but that's a lot of work.

I asked the teacher next to me why they don't have bleachers.

Teacher: What are bleachers?

Me: <draws a picture>

Teacher: That takes up a lot of room.

Me: They fold up against the wall when you're not using them.

Teacher: I've never heard of such a thing.

So there you have it. Japanese schools don't use bleachers because they don't know about them. They don't play spectator sports in the high school gym, so they don't ever need them for games. They go elsewhere for that.

The "pep rally" was very...Japanese. The students on the sports teams put on their uniforms and then paraded up to the stage, where the vice-principal gave them a pep-talk and each team gave a short speech. The rest of the students sat on the gym floor and listened (or napped).
Tags: culture, school
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