Monday, March 23, 2009

And the preparation for 1st Grade begins

Public school kids, all over Japan, have one thing definitely in common. They all carry a randoseru, or special backpack to school. (If you'd like, you can read more about the randoseru over at Wikipedia.) Traditionally, girls had red ones and boys had black ones.



But nowadays, more colors are being made and sold. While boys will usually stay with the darker colors (blacks or blues) and some girls stick with the red...there are many that choose to be a bit different and go with orange, green, or pink.


These bags, which are usually purchased by grandparents, can run anywhere from about $90 to close to $500. There is actually one that I saw listed at about $850!!! Granted this backpack will last for the 6 years of elementary school, but still.....$850?!?!?! No...sorry...I don't think so.



Tonight, when Koji and I got home, sitting on the table was...a box....a big box....and in that box....his new randoseru!!!


The excitement that ran through that little boy's body was so much fun to watch. From the time he and dad opened the box, to the time he went to bed...I counted 7 times he had the randoseru on and was walking around the house....practicing.
You see....to Koji, finally getting the randoseru means that he is truly going to be a
pika pika ichi-nen sei, or a "bright and shiny, 1st Grader".

And this.....makes him very happy!!!


Koji, 5 years ago with Issei's new randoseru.......

....and Koji, tonight, with his very own.

He is such a happy camper.

May we all find something that makes us feel this good, if even for a short time, at least once a day!

15 comments:

Nancy said...

Indeed, that is one happy kid! So sweet. No I have to go find out WHY they cost so much! Holy Crap ... my kids had a new "backpack" each year from Target for about $15!

Ginaagain said...

He looks so excited! Does a randoseru actually last six years without looking awful? Do the sixth graders whine that their old randoseru isn't cool? I hate the disposable backpack culture. Every year we have to shop for a newer, cooler one and hope that it lasts nine months. I would much rather spend more money and only have to buy one.

ms-teacher said...

Yet just another reason why I love the Japanese. I love the sense of tradition that is so important to them.

Also, Koji looks so adorable in both pictures you posted of him with his randoseru.

smalltownmom said...

ONE pack lasts for 6 years? I am impressed.

Janet said...

he's got SUCH a big smile!!!

Helena said...

I'm so pleased for Koji that he's finally got his own randoseru. He looks so happy!

(But jeeezzz... up to $850 for a backpack!!!).

3rdEyeMuse said...

he looks sooooo happy!

Paida said...

I love this! What a great rite of passage - I especially love the photo of Koji wearing Issei's old one.

Go Koji! Hope you have your waterproof mascara and tissues ready when you send your boy off to big boy school!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Wow. That's a lot of money for a backpack.

He wears it well.

jan in nagasaki said...

not only do they last for 6 years, but my kids have hand-me-downs... so potentially... 12 years of use.

don't forget, if you still need them, I have a paint set and pianica for you ...

i can't believe that little guy is a first grader now. wow. how the time does fly!!!! and just think, when he graduates from 6th grade, my oldest will graduate from HIGH SCHOOL. HOLY CRAP!!!!!

Mommy2Twinkies-Deb said...

Yay! Congrats to Koji! How much fun to see your kids grow like that. He really does look excited. I didn't know that those backpacks were so expensive! Wow!

Karen MEG said...

That is one expensive backpack!!
He looks so very excited to have his very own now... great that you have shots of him he was so envious of his big brother's !

hulagirlatheart said...

Amen. I can't believe they use it for six years without it falling apart. My child can tear up an anvil.

I love that he is so excited about going to first grade.

just jamie said...

That is SO cool. I don't know why I find that SO interesting and cool, but I just love it. I've never heard about these randoserus before. What a proud moment!

phd in yogurtry said...

"pika pika ichi-nen sei" I wish I had a little grade schooler so I could say this to one of mine! those "then and now" pics are the sweetest.