Sports day is one of the biggest events of the year at any Japanese school, and Nagisa is no different.
There were so many events and so many pictures that I could only choose one or two from each event, but I hope you get an idea of what the day was like.
The day started with the opening ceremony. The presentation of flags and the marching students is a throwback to an earlier Japan.
Here, the two teams, red and white, bow to each other before the competition begins.
The first competition was "tama ire" where students compete to see which team can get the most bean bags into the basket.
The next event is one that would not be allowed in Canada due to safety concerns. The defense holds their pole upright, and the offence tries to take the flag from the top of the pole, either by pulling the pole down or by climbing over the defenders. In this photo, the red hats are the offence, and the white hats are defending.
Like sports days in the west, there are running events. Here we see a Grade 3 student pulling away from the pack.
"Wanted" is an event where Grade 5 students race to get a card. The card has a hint on who to find. It could be someone from the crowd, "Someone holding a baby" or a specific teacher. Here are some teachers who dressed up for the event.
The next event was called "Nagisa Hanagasa" which means "Nagisa Flower Umbrellas". In this case, the umbrellas are old style rain hats.
The Grade 1 students the challenge of negotiating huge inflated balls around the field. The balls where twice the size of the students! They needed communication, coordination and teamwork to get it done!
The Dragon's Tail was next. The Grade 2 students made teams of 3 people, and had to stay linked together as one dragon. Their aim was to take the tails from an opposing team while protecting their own.
The next event was a variation on tug-o-war. Instead of one rope, there were 15. Some of the ropes got taken quickly, but those that were lasted longer than a couple of seconds soon turned into prizes to be fought for.
After the tug-o-war was the Grade 5 relay. These students can run fast!
The Grade 5s were followed up by the Grade 6 individual races.
The Nagisa Flags dance fills the field with Grade 1, 2 and 3 students as well as color and action. This is always the cutest event of the day.
The next event was the PTA relay, where parents, teachers and graduated students ran hard to see which team could get the gold!
After that, the cheer squad led the whole school in the cheering event. This event always leads the day in coolness.
Then, the Eye of the Typhoon came round. The Grade 3 students coordinated their efforts to move their poles quickly around their cones and back.
"Kibasen", which means cavalry battle, is another game that I don't think would be allowed in the west. 3 students make the base, and one sits atop as they do battle. They must take another group's hat, while protecting their own. It is an exciting event!
The Grade 4 students then showed off their speed in running races.
The Grade 2 students then faced an obstacle race. They had to go under nets, carry tires over a mountainous mat, traverse balance beams and walk on stilts. Everyone finished the race, even though it was tough!
Ready, set, go! The Grade 1 students ran their hardest to gain points for their teams!
In Canada, we had three legged races. Can you count how many legs are on one team here? Getting your team to the mat in this event required a lot of communication and teamwork. Getting 15 people to work as one required a lot of practice and cooperation!
Getting near the day's finale, the Grade 5 and 6 students put on a great show with "Kumi Taiso" which is group gymnastics. Strength, balance, trust and teamwork were all on display with these amazing tableaux!
The final event of the day was the relay which took selected students from each grade. These students can run!
The closing ceremony finished off the day with a warm down, speeches, and (this year) the white team declared the winner. I'm pretty sure red will take it next year, and I'll be cheering for them!
One last note before finishing today. I'd like to thank the Grade 5 and 6 students for all of the help they provided on sports day. They made sure all of the events were ready, that the equipment was in place, made the announcements, kept score, and made sure the whole thing ran smoothly. Well done!