Nyuugakushiki – April 1st entrance ceremony at Ofunato Municipal Ryori Primary School

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Ready for school!

New first-graders in kimono energetically raise their hands as they practice responding to teachers at Ofunato Municipal Ryori Primary School in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, on Thursday. For more than 40 years, the school’s incoming students have worn kimono at the annual April 1 entrance ceremony that dates from before World War II. This year, 12 boys and seven girls were enrolled as first-graders at the school.

1 thought on “Nyuugakushiki – April 1st entrance ceremony at Ofunato Municipal Ryori Primary School”

  1. Note:

    The Japanese school year begins in April.

    “Nyuugakushiki” is a formal entrance ceremony and a very special day for new students. It is most elaborately and giddily celebrated by those entering first grade of kindergarten and grade 1 of elementary school with grandparents and parents in attendance when available, and congratulatory cards/ letters, gifts of money, backpacks and study desks are given to the student for this event.

    However, the April 1st entrance ceremony is also held for students of other years and grade levels from kindergarten to university.

    The wearing of the kimono seen in the photo above is not common in the rest of Japan anymore. Instead, new students of the school will arrive dressed in smart dresses and suits.

    Traditionally, April is the month for new beginnings and has strong associations with sakura and the spring season. After the ceremony, students will take photos of themselves with friends and family, with sakura cherry blossoms in the backdrop.

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