Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A "Pika Pika Ichi Nen Sei" kind of day

**Thursday night....I started this last night and about half way through, I was so tired, I was nodding off...sure sign that it's time to just go to bed!!!
It's official.

Koji is a "shiny, new 1st Grader".

Yep. He's stylin'!

In the garden (azaleas blooming! yeah!!). His randoseru ("backpack") is empty, so it's not too hard for him to carry. (Tomorrow will probably be another story!! Students here don't keep their books at school....all textbooks and notebooks are kept at home and taken to school, when needed!!)

Such a nice family...the only thing missing is Issei...he was already at school, getting ready for the ceremony.

When we first got to school, a 6th grader met us at the entrance (they were waiting for the kids and it was just by chance who was paired with whom)...and we walked to Koji's homeroom. He is in class 1-A. There are 19 kids in his class....20 in the other. The classes here seem to be getting smaller each year....though I like the small class sizes, I'm worried about what will happen to our school in the future if this continues!

On each desk, there were many things waiting for the kids. Each 1st grader must wear a special yellow hat and put a yellow cover on their randoseru. No matter where you go in Japan, you'll know it when you see a 1st grader!

There was also a box with a "congratulations" sweet inside (sweet bean paste inside a steamed rice flour roll...tastes much better than what it sounds!!)....textbooks and notebooks and tiles to use in math.

"Nyugaku omedetou"

Congratulations on Entering School!!!

Koji's homeroom teacher, Mrs. Sakai (she was also Issei's 3rd grade teacher....he said she was really nice, but......"don't make her mad!!!")

While we were in the classroom, the rest of the school was in the gym...waiting for us.

All the other students were sitting on the floor of the gym, parents in chairs behind them and the VIPs were in chairs on either side of the students. There were special chairs for the 1st graders, up near the stage for them.

As the 1st Graders entered the gym, some very lively music began to play and everyone was clapping. The 6th graders had made arches of paper flowers for the 1st Graders to walk through. (Issei was one of the "holders", but you can't see him because some 6th grade Amazon Woman was in the way!! :-D (If you click on the picture, you can see his arm and his
green striped t-shirt.)
After the ceremony, it was back to the classroom for some directions and what-not from the sensei (teacher). They put their hats on...attached the buzzers and whistles (not a good move on the sensei's part, but....that's just me! Yeah...we did have some moments of "Turn it off!" and "Only whistle if you are in trouble.") and we put the special cover on their bags.

Watch out we come! "Pika Pika Ichi Nen Sei, Kuroiwa Koji kun"
and his mommy and daddy.
(Damn. We look good! And no, my skirt was not a long skirt originally~~since I've lost weight, a lot of my things sort of sliiiiiiiiide down. It's a pain, but one I will gladly deal with!!!)
At the front gate of Menoto Elementary School

On the grounds of the school...the sakura (cherry blossoms) held out just for us so we could take a really pretty picture!
(Since Koji's bag is now full of books and stuff, it's much heavier and making his jacket look almost too little! :-D that I really look at that picture, it looks like someone else has a backpack on~~that video camera bag must have been really heavy!!!))
After we got home, we changed into some comfy clothes and then headed to our favorite Belgian cafe....Koji and Daddy had a Pepsi and Mommy? You betcha! She had a reeeeallly good Belgian beer!!!
Luc (our favorite Belgian man evah!) made a special dessert for Koji....a piece of 'to-die-for' chocolate cake, fresh strawberries and a small cookie....oh, yeah...and lots and lots of chocolate syrup all around the plate!
Oh, yes. he did! And I let him! Can you believe that?!?!
Oh's not everyday you enter 1st gotta live large!!


Nancy said...

GREAT photos!
You look FAB!

Congrats to Koji ... the the fun begin ?!?!?!?

smalltownmom said...

Congratulations to Koji -- enjoy first grade!

Janet said...

I love that such a big positive deal is made out of starting first grade! Gives the kids a good feeling :-)

Ginaagain said...

So cool! It's really neat that school starts with such a huge celebration. Every time one of my kids started first grade there were long drawn out goodbyes with the teacher trying to get parents out of the room and at least one child in the class breaking down. The year that Taylor started there was one mother and daughter who cried and prayed together every morning for the first two weeks until the teacher finally barred the mother from the class. A dose of pomp and ceremony might have been a good thing.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

We totally let Laura lick the chocolate syrup off of her plate this week. Totally.

Congratulations to your big boy!!!

Anonymous said...

I am sooooo natukashii! Love the rituals!

The Girl Next Door said...

OMG where do I begin? YOU look unbelieveably awesome. Rockin. Hawt.
Your son??? Kissable, squeezable, loveable, proudable. (I made that last word up....lovin' it)
family photo? adorable.

this is a great photographic journal of a very special moment. Congrats!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a ceremony!

You look fantastic.

jan in nagasaki said...

funny how similar it is at each school.... even those flower arches that they hold..... the same arches are used for the 6th graders upon exit for graduation...coming very very soon for you!!!!


hey .. are you making plans yet for next week??? I haven't seen you for nearly a year... since last april when I sat in your garden and sipped a brew or two...
what are your plans for this year??? do we dare to attempt a phone call????? and is it true that there is no pizza at Luc's???

3rdEyeMuse said...

oooh! thank you for making me feel like I was there to celebrate with all of you!! what a wonderful, wonderful first day!

... ps ... I would have let him lick the plate, too ... and no, this would not be normal me behavior, either!!