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Amparo Bertram

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08:51 pm: 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).

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[User Picture]
From:firesign10
Date:May 25th, 2005 06:26 am (UTC)
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So many things we never even think about - what high school here is complete without its bleachers?? And clearly, they have a whole different idea of the "pep" part of a pep rally. Wish I could think of a good representation in a movie that you could show them a clip of (brain just isn't quite up to speed yet this morning LOL).
[User Picture]
From:wrenwyn
Date:May 25th, 2005 06:53 am (UTC)

Movie Examples

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Well, Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie has a basketball game with bleachers; and so does Teen Wolf.

For a more serious flavor: Hoosiers, with Gene Hackman, has them playing bastketball. So does Pleasantville, but I don't remember if they were playing a game or just practicing (where the bleachers would be retracted).

(=^.^=)
[User Picture]
From:wrenwyn
Date:May 25th, 2005 06:55 am (UTC)
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The subtle differences between our two cultures are even more facinating than the obvious differences.

then paraded up to the stage, where the vice-principal gave them a pep-talk and each team gave a short speech.

Sounds more like a lecture than a "pep" rally. hehe During our high school pep rallies we would scream for our team, and yell how great we were and how we were going to kill the competition. This would certainly not fit into the Japanese mentality, would it?

(=^.^=)
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:May 25th, 2005 01:22 pm (UTC)
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This would certainly not fit into the Japanese mentality, would it?

They do have cheering...but it's VERY organized. They do it for the school Sports Day. There are certain cheers that are all to the same tune, kind of like a chant, that they say periodically.

Example:
Let's go, let's go, let's go Sekihou!
行け 行け 行け 行け 行け 行け Sekihou!

(From Matsudai High, Sekihou vs. Byakko)

Then they have the official team cheer, which lasts several minutes. The entire team (which, depending on the school, could be half the student body) participates in a highly choreographed dance that they've practiced for weeks.

However, there's nothing remotely like an American pep rally for their sports teams that I've ever seen. There are no cheerleaders and no school band, either.
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